While talking tough about the need to reduce emissions, many European nations are moving in the opposite direction. Only two (the United Kingdom and Sweden) look likely to meet their Kyoto targets, while some are falling woefully behind. In parts of Europe there is actually movement away from emission-free energy sources, such as nuclear power, toward carbon-based fuels due to other environmental concerns.
The implementation of the E.U.’s emission trading scheme has facilitated this trend. Thus far, E.U. nations have refused to adopt emission caps that require actual emission cuts. To the contrary, the volume of emission allowances sought by E.U. nations has been greater than past emissions, making the trading scheme virtually worthless as an emission reduction scheme.