On 9 March 2012 the Environment Council meeting debated, among other subjects, the European Commission's Roadmap to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050. The Council was expected to endorse officially the roadmap, which aims to establish a sustainable and cost-effective trajectory to 2050, on the basis of milestones for domestic greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 40% by 2030, 60% by 2040 and 80% by 2050 compared to 1990.
Although 26 member states agreed on the Presidency’s final compromise text, the Environment Council could not adopt the conclusions due to the veto of one member state. Poland could not accept the provisions regarding in particular the milestones for EU domestic emission reductions and further work on the 2030 milestone.
Even though the Commission's Roadmap did not suggest setting new 2020 targets, it remarked that the full implementation of the revised Energy Efficiency Plan would allow the achievement of a 25% emissions reduction target, compared to the current 20%. Furthermore, it proposed setting aside a certain number of ETS allowances as a possible solution to increase the carbon price and reward low carbon investments.
As a member of the Alliance of Energy Intensive Industries, Cerame-Unie contributed to a letter addressed to the President of the ENVI Council ahead of the meeting. In that letter, the Alliance raised its concerns against setting further unilateral targets in the absence of an international climate change agreement and a detailed bottom-up analysis of the impact of different industrial sectors.
The Danish Presidency concluded that "it will have to consider this new situation and that it will report on it to the European Council; the compromise text supported by 26 member states could be presented as 'Presidency conclusions' in the next days. This may constitute a basis for the Commission to work on further proposals in the future".