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New EU members fighting CO2 targets

Eight of the 20 EU members are taking the fight against carbon targets (imposed by the EU Commission) to the courts.

At the end of August, Lithuania and Malta joined Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, and Latvia, in challenging the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) at the European Court of Justice after being ordered to cut their industrial emissions by up to 46%.

Hungary had its cap set at 26.9 million tons per year, a 12.4% reduction from the limit it had proposed. All eight countries are concerned that the new strict limits threaten their economies at a time when they are playing catch-up with the rest of the Union. Latvia’s former finance minister, Valdis Dombrovskis, has openly accused the Commission of “bullying” most of the 12 new member states into bearing the burden of the climate change battle.

In an August letter to London’s Guardian newspaper, Dombrovski claimed that while the new states had already met their individual Kyoto targets, the 15 older member states are projected to achieve a collective reduction of only 4.6% by 2010. (