Europe may lean toward economy over climate

Despite calling for a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas output by 2030, some environmentalists see Europe's move as one that weakens climate rules.

The European Union proposed ending the binding national targets for renewable energy production after 2020, opting for an overall goal for Europe that might be more difficult to enforce, The New York Times reports.

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Green groups, like Friends of the Earth, claim that by adopting an overall goal, economic factors were beginning to sway the climate debate in Europe.

On the natural gas front, the EU proposed instilling a series of minimum principles that it would monitor on environmental damage and safety rather than concrete laws.

Officials said the new proposals show no sign of backing off on its commitment to the environment but reflect the difficulties of uniting the 28 nations of the EU under one policy.

It's no secret that Germany and the United Kingdom, who want tighter rules to protect the atmosphere, are at odds with Poland and its allies, who depend on fossil fuels for their economies, Bloomberg reports.