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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

EP sends strong message ahead of Durban climate summit

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on 16 November setting out its position on the forthcoming UN climate summit in Durban (COP17) and its demands for the EU position. The Greens welcomed the clear message calling for the EU to commit to continuing the Kyoto Protocol, a key issue for the forthcoming summit. Commenting on the outcome, Green MEP Bas Eickhout, who will represent the Greens on the EP delegation to the COP17, said:

“The EP has sent a clear message that EU needs to stop prevaricating and instead finally commit to continuing with the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012. With the UN climate talks in a state of protracted limbo, a clear commitment from the EU to Kyoto beyond 2012 would give a new impetus to the talks and the need for a comprehensive binding international climate agreement.

"Clearly, resolving the current flaws and loopholes under the Kyoto Protocol - notably on how emissions from forestry and land use are accounted, as well as the issue of hot air or surplus emissions permits - is essential if the protocol is to be environmentally sound. We welcome that the EP has again made this clear today. The current greenhouse gas target of a 20% reduction by 2020 is clearly at odds with the EU's pledge to limit the increase in global temperatures to below 2 degrees. We welcome that the EP has highlighted this and the need for the EU to step up its target. It is high time the Commission and EU governments delivered on this.”

Climate commission Connie Hedegaard had spoken to the Parliament the day before, stressing that “Europe is not the problem; we do as much as we can.” Hedegaard suggested that the Commission was aiming for a binding international agreement at Durban, but would also be prepared to consider a second commitment period until 2020, provided that it would be the last commitment period before a binding international agreement. Besides. Hedegaard said that accepting a second commitment period would be conditional upon a clear timeline: “When will other major economies commit, and when will they commit in the same legal form as we do?”

Source: The Greens/CTA