By Tim Fanning

PROMOTING renewable energies and reducing carbon emissions will be at the top of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and German chancellor Angela Merkel's agenda for today's summit being held in Palma.

The Spanish Government is particularly interested in two aspects of a package of environmental measures recently proposed by the European Commission.
The Commission's proposals - to be achieved by 2020 - are threefold: to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 percent in relation to 1990 levels; that renewable energy accounts for 20 percent of consumption, and that consumption of energy is reduced by 20 percent.

The two aspects the Spanish Government is interested in relate to EU proposals to auction rights to emit CO2 - something that has been criticised by employers as reducing competitiveness - and to give a reduced role to emission rights in exchange for investing in environmentally-friendly energy in developing countries.

In relation to the first issue, Spain is against such auctions and favours the situation as it currently stands, where quotas exist free of such rights to contaminate.

However, on the second issue, the Spanish Government hopes to find common ground with the German Government. Germany isn't pleased by EU proposals that oblige the car industry to produce vehicles that don't emit more than 120 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

This is going to prove particularly difficult for Germany's car industry, which is centred on the production of high-powered vehicles.
Other areas of interest to both Governments are the fight against climate change, the opening of new areas of co-operation in research and development and exchanging experiences on integrating immigrants.

Zapatero and Merkel are also due to talk about issues that are coming down the line on the wider EU agenda, such as Kosovo. Both countries say they agree that the EU “must maintain its unity” as the provinces prepares to unilaterally declare independence and that Kosovo does not set a precedent for other territories with separatist aspirations.

It's also likely that Merkel will use today's meeting to brief Zapatero on yesterday's meeting about the current global financial crisis at Downing Street, to which Gordon Brown also invited the Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi, the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy and the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso. Among those also in attendance at today's summit are Deputy Prime Minister María Teresa Fernández de la Vega and the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Zapatero and Merkel are due to arrive at Palma Town Hall at 11am where they will be received by Balearic President Francesc Antich and Palma's Mayor Aina Calvo. The two leaders will have a one-on-one meeting in the Town Hall before moving to the Almudaina for the round table summit.