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Friday, 14 October 2011

The Council of Minsters agrees on its position for Durban

On 10 October Environment ministers agreed on the EU stance for crucial international climate talks coming up in Durban, South Africa, in late November.

The European Union is calling for a single legally-binding instrument to rein in global warming. However, it is open to considering an extension of the current Kyoto Protocol, due to expire in 2012, for a limited transition period.

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol sets carbon targets only for industrialised countries, whereas the EU wants an outcome that engages all major economies. It considers that cutting greenhouse gas emissions worldwide is necessary to prevent the most severe impacts of climate change.

A number of ministers and the Commission recalled that an unlimited carry-over of surplus Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) after 2012 (as currently foreseen in the Kyoto Protocol) could jeopardise the environmental effectiveness of the global reduction targets, in particular since several developed countries have greenhouse gas emission levels that are well below their Kyoto Protocol targets and are therefore expected to have a lot of surplus emission rights over the 2008-2012 period.

The UN talks in Durban - the 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - will run from 28 November to 9 December 2011.

Source: Council of Ministers/CTA