NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Customers Face High Energy Prices Thanks to European Climate Agenda

December 19, 2014

Despite 18 years of no global warming, European nations have continued to push a climate change agenda, to the detriment of consumers, writes Sterling Burnett of the Heartland Institute.

The European Union agreed to the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, pledging to reduce its carbon emissions to 8 percent below 1990 levels. But, forced to comply with emissions limits not imposed on other parts of the world, Burnett writes that many European businesses fled, moving to countries with lower energy costs and no emissions limits.

Climate change policy has been extraordinarily expensive for Europe:

  • From 2004 to 2013, EU states spent $882 billion on renewable energy projects.
  • By 2030, Germany -- whose citizens face some of the highest energy costs in all of Europe -- could alone spend $1 trillion transitioning to renewable energy.
  • Electricity prices in Europe are twice that of the United States.
  • Relative to Europe, the U.S. manufacturing -- operating with lower energy prices -- saved $130 billion in 2012.

Burnett notes that the EU seems to have recognized that its unilateral carbon dioxide reductions have only hurt its own member states. The EU has agreed to further reduce its emissions by 2030 but only if the United Nations completes a binding climate treaty that would require other nations to make similar reductions.

Source: H. Sterling Burnett, "Harmful Consequences of EU Climate Policy," Heartland Institute, December 5, 2014. 


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