The European Union Environment Council confirms EU’s overall goals for the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Copenhagen on 7–18 December. The environment ministers confirmed the EU’s position and the mandate for negotiation that was established at the Environment Council in October and then endorsed by the heads of state and government at the European Council. Many Member States stressed the important of upholding the goal of 30 per cent emissions reductions as a lever to get others to make sufficient offers and put money on the table, both immediately after Copenhagen and in the long term. The EU has also set the long-term goal of reducing emissions by 80–95 per cent by 2050.
“The EU is united and well prepared to make Copenhagen a success. For the EU, Copenhagen is not ‘a step’, it is the step, it is the milestone in the work on climate change. The EU will push for a comprehensive agreement involving all countries”, says Minister for the Environment Andreas Carlgren.
“All parties must present sufficient offers on emissions reductions and financing. This applies to both industrialised countries such as the USA and rapidly growing economies such as China. Copenhagen must also be the starting point for rapid measures against deforestation, and money for this must be made available immediately.”
The European Union is working for an ambitious, comprehensive and legally binding global climate agreement that will prevent global warming reaching dangerous levels, that is, more than 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures, as researchers have projected for this century.
The EU has independently committed itself to reducing its emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, and is now implementing this reduction with the help of a legislation package that entered into force earlier this year, along with a comprehensive programme for increased energy efficiency.
The EU has also committed to reduce emissions by 30 per cent, on the condition that other industrialised countries collectively agree to make comparable reductions and that developing countries with rapid economic development contribute to a global agreement to the extent that they are able.