Stop Hiding, Europe Tells U.S.
Europe Calls for U.S. Openness
Below are some excerpts from a Reuters News report on the importance of factual environmental data.
The head of the European Environment Agency challenged the United States yesterday to publish environmental data so people could compare the green credentials of the world's two biggest trading blocs.
Domingo Jimenez-Beltran said the United States might lead the world in tackling air pollution, but was trailing far behind on energy conservation and climate change and that the public should be aware of the facts.
"It's important to benchmark the (European) Union against the United States," Jimenez-Beltran told a news conference where he unveiled the agency's latest annual environmental report.
The head of the EEA - the EU body responsible for compiling environmental data - was scathing about U.S. plans to increase energy production and said consumers worldwide should be made more aware of the poor U.S. record on energy conservation.
"Bush is saying 'we need more energy', but he doesn't say that the United States already uses 70 percent more energy per million dollars (generated by the economy) than the EU," Jimenez-Beltran said. The fact that petrol (gasoline) costs half as much in the United States as in Europe could almost be considered illegal economic "dumping", he said, because cheap energy meant U.S. products cost less to make than those in the highly taxed EU.
Jimenez-Beltran suggested that products should be labelled to show consumers if they were built in a country where energy efficiency was taken seriously or not. Such a free-market approach would identify information for consumers, such as whether the product was built in a country that respects the 1997 Kyoto agreement on reducing greenhouse gases - the deal rejected by Bush earlier this year.
"People should know if a product that uses a lot of energy (when produced) comes from a country that's in the protocol (or not)," he said.
The EU's greenhouse gas emissions are down four percent from 1999 levels, but U.S. emissions are up 11 percent.
What's your opinion? Doesn't a free market require disclosure and access to information? Tell your views to The Progress Report:
Page One Page Two Archive Discussion Room Letters What's Geoism?