EU sticks to 20-percent carbon cuts

October 29, 2010
Exhaust flows out of the tailpipe of a vehicle. The European Union on Friday gave notice it was not prepared to go beyond a planned 20-percent cut in greenhouse-gas emissions ahead of next month's UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico.

The European Union on Friday gave notice it was not prepared to go beyond a planned 20-percent cut in greenhouse-gas emissions ahead of next month's UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico.

At the end of a summit in Brussels, EU heads of state and government said making progress on tackling climate change "is becoming ever more urgent."

"It is therefore important that the Cancun Conference deliver a significant intermediate step" towards a comprehensive climate treaty, they said in a statement.

"The European Union," they added, "will reassess the situation after the Cancun Conference including the examination of options to move beyond 20 percent greenhouse gas emission reductions to be prepared to react to the ongoing international climate negotiations."

In 2008, the EU said it would unilaterally cut by 20 percent by 2020, as compared to a benchmark year of 1990.

It also offered to go to 30 percent if other industrialised powers follow suit. The proposal was put on the table, but not reciprocated, at December's world climate talks in Copenhagen.

Since then, the 27-nation bloc has been under pressure from Britain, France and Germany, as well as the European Commission, to deepen to 30 percent.

So far, though, offers from other major industrialised countries are still below the 20-percent mark and critics say that further carbon curbs will hit Europe's fragile economies.

The Brussels summit also reiterated its support for a second commitment period under the , whose pledges expire at the end of 2012, "provided the conditions... are met."

The November 29-December 10 talks in Cancun take place under the flag of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The meeting takes place a year after a chaotic summit in the Danish capital on rolling back the threat of after 2012 and channelling aid to poor countries at risk from rising seas, storms, drought and flood.

Cancun will at best deliver progress in areas such as short-term financial aid, preserving tropical forestry and encouraging the transfer of cleaner technology to poor countries, say experts.

But a full-fledged post-2012 treaty will have to wait for further negotiations, possibly concluding in South Africa at the end of 2011, they say.

Explore further: UN: No comprehensive climate deal this year

Related Stories

UN: No comprehensive climate deal this year

May 3, 2010

(AP) -- Outgoing U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer shot down expectations of a climate treaty this year, saying Monday that a major U.N. conference in December would yield only a "first answer" on curbing greenhouse gases.

US inaction on climate troubles global talks

August 1, 2010

(AP) -- The failure of a climate bill in the U.S. Senate is likely to weigh heavily on international negotiations that begin Monday on a new agreement to control global warming.

US says it's committed to cutting greenhouse gases

August 2, 2010

(AP) -- The United States assured international negotiators Monday it remains committed to reducing carbon emissions over the next 10 years, despite the collapse of efforts to legislate a climate bill.

US envoy: Climate deal still possible in Mexico

October 22, 2010

(AP) -- A global agreement to curb carbon emissions is possible at an upcoming U.N. climate conference but hinges on the efforts and political will of countries, the U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern said Friday in Beijing.

Delegates told to ID achievable goals on climate

October 4, 2010

(AP) -- The U.N. climate chief urged countries Monday to search faster for common ground on battling climate change so that a year-end meeting in Mexico can produce results in that fight.

US in spotlight as UN climate talks resume

March 29, 2009

UN talks tasked with forging a global climate treaty by year's end were set to resume here on Sunday, with all eyes on the debut appearance of US negotiators from the administration of US President Barack Obama.

Recommended for you

Weather anomalies accelerate the melting of sea ice

January 16, 2018

In the winter of 2015/16, something happened that had never before been seen on this scale: at the end of December, temperatures rose above zero degrees Celsius for several days in parts of the Arctic. Temperatures of up ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.