Climate change: Preparing the Poznań conference
Enel geothermal powerplant in Italy,
one of the sources of renewable energy
© European Communities
23. 10. 2008
EU environment ministers, meeting in Luxembourg on 20 October, reaffirmed their commitment to a successful conclusion of the negotiations on a global climate agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol as from 2012.
In conclusions establishing the EU's position at the United Nations Climate Conference in Poznan from 1 to 12December, they stressed the need to speed up preparation of the new agreement to be signed in Copenhagen at the end of next year.
The Council emphasised that the Copenhagen agreement should enable global warming to be limited to not more than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this would require a reduction in worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 of at least 50 % comparing to 1990 levels. To this end, developed countries would have to collectively reduce their GHG emissions by 25 to 40 % below 1990 levels by 2020, with the target of achieving a reduction of 80 to 95 % by 2050.
Ministers recalled that the Union has already made an independent commitment to achieve at least a 20 % reduction by 2020. The EU is ready to cut its emissions even by 30 %, provided that other developed countries commit to comparable reductions, and that economically more advanced developing countries contribute adequately according to their capabilities. The Council, however, stressed that the competitiveness of European industries must be preserved.
The Council also called for solidarity with the least developed countries, particularly in Africa, and with the small island developing States, which contribute very little to global warming, but will be most affected by climate change. Ministers underlined that these regions should benefit from the Copenhagen agreement, in terms of access to clean energy and sustainable development.
At the UN climate conference held in Bali in December 2007, the 192 participating countries agreed to launch negotiations on a new global climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which will expire in 2012. The roadmap adopted in Bali contains an action plan aimed at reaching an international consensus by December 2009 and defines the main issues to be tackled during the two-year process.
Council Press release (pdf)
Council webcast of Press conference
Justice and Home Affairs Council 24/10
Agriculture and Fisheries Council 27-28/10