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EU Parliament calls for "new climate diplomacy"

Summary: 10 February 2010, Strasbourg - The European Union should create a "new climate diplomacy", and its future budget must provide enough funding to protect against, and adapt to, climate change, say Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in a resolution approved on Wednesday. The EU's commitment to combating climate change must not falter, and it must unilaterally set a CO2 reduction target greater than 20% for 2020, despite the Copenhagen summit's disappointing outcome, urge MEPs.

The Copenhagen accord failed either to set global mid- or long-term CO2 reduction targets, or to state when global emissions would need to peak, note MEPs. But the delay in reaching an international agreement is no justification for postponing further EU policies to achieve the already legally binding reduction commitments, they add.

The Commission should table a proposal for the EU to raise its ambition unilaterally to set a reduction target greater than 20%, say MEPs. They note that initiatives taken within the EU to promote and encourage the green economy, energy security and reduced energy dependency will make it increasingly easy to meet a 30% reduction target.

The EU should also ensure that the future agreement takes the full climate impact of aviation into account and that reduction targets for the aviation and maritime sectors are the same as other industry sectors, it adds.

EU must speak with one voice in international climate negotiations

The EU has "failed to play a leading role in the fight against climate change", say MEPs. They are disappointed with the Member States' lack of unity and urge the EU to speak with one voice in future international climate negotiations.

EU to create a new "climate diplomacy"

There is a need to create a new "climate diplomacy", says Parliament. The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and the Commissioner on Climate Action should lead this strategy, working especially with the more progressive developing and emerging countries. Climate policies should be included in every strategic partnership and bi- and multilateral co-operation agreements in order to establish a more coherent external climate protection strategy, it adds.

EU budget review to focus on climate change

The forthcoming EU budget review needs provide sufficient resources for measures for protection against, and adaptation to, climate change, both within EU and in developing countries. It should also consider introducing new and innovative financial mechanisms to support international climate action.

Climate justice in further negotiations

The EU and Member States should enforce the principle of "climate justice" with a view to 2050 and beyond and therefore advocate an "equity clause" in future international climate negotiations, say MEPs

USA and China also need to do more

MEPs regret that the USA and China were not prepared to accept a more ambitious agreement in Copenhagen. They and other international partners should come up with further commitments to an international system of climate protection, in order to resume discussions and achieve "an ambitious and legally binding international agreement in line with the latest developments in science and consistent with the 2ºC objective", says the resolution.

  • Ref: EP10-025EN
  • EU source: European Parliament
  • UN forum: 
  • Date: 10/2/2010

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See also

European Union Member States