PRAGUE, March 3 Slovakia cannot agree with the
European Commission's proposed climate and energy goals that
target a 40 percent cut in carbon emissions reductions and
increased use of renewable power, Prime Minister Robert Fico was
quoted as saying on Monday.
The European Union will debate its 2030 goals at summits in
March and June, ahead of formal legislative proposals expected
early next year.
Fico said Europe could not be the world's leader in climate
protection at the cost of losing competitiveness with other
parts of the world.
"We cannot, for example, agree with the Commission's goal of
a 40 percent reduction of greenhouse gases. We cannot agree that
a set specific amount of electricity energy should be produced
from renewable sources," Slovak news agency TASR quoted Fico as
"We maintain that a market with so-called free emission
allowances must exist."
He added that other countries, including members of central
Europe's Visegrad group, were discussing a common stance.
Fico made the comments after meeting the head of U.S. Steel
Kosice, one of Slovakia's biggest heavy industry firms and
its largest private employer, providing some 11,000 jobs.
The Slovak government agreed last year to support its
operations to avoid the firm's departure.
The EU's executive arm proposed in January less stringent
climate goals because of tougher economic conditions in Europe
in the wake of a global economic crisis and euro zone debt
The current goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by
2030 to a volume that is 40 percent lower than 1990 levels, a
doubling of the existing 2020 target.
The Commission is also recommending an EU-wide goal of "at
least 27 percent" renewables, a higher level but without the
hard and fast national targets currently in force.