Europe defends emissions record at climate talks

November 28, 2012
EU commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard gives a press conference at the EU Headquarters in Brussels. Europe defended its record Wednesday in curbing Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions as the countries of the world entered their third day of talks in Qatar on ways to tackle climate change.

Europe defended its record Wednesday in curbing Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions as the countries of the world entered their third day of talks in Qatar on ways to tackle climate change.

Under pressure at UN negotiations in Doha to raise its emissions reduction target from 20 to 30 percent, the European Union said through its climate commissioner that other countries should also do more.

"Europe is doing its fair share," Connie Hedegaard insisted at a webcast press conference in Brussels.

The bloc is on track to meet its goal of emissions reductions of 20 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels and is poised to exceed it, thanks to support for greener fuels and cleaner technology, she said.

"We are not just resting on the laurels. We are actually trying despite all our economic difficulties to move on and still be in the lead, which we are," Hedegaard said.

The latest round of UN opened in Doha on Monday with developing countries and the EU staking out rival positions on the fate of the , which binds rich nations to greenhouse gas emission caps.

Small island states most exposed to want the EU as a historical polluter to boost its emissions-slashing targets and bring forward the deadline for meeting them.

Hedegaard agreed that the world faced a "huge challenge" in the growing gap between targets and the actual required to hold climate change at a manageable two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels.

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres reminded delegates at the Doha talks of the urgent need to cut emissions even further.

"International commitments to cut and deal with the are higher than they have ever been, yet are still not sufficient to prevent the global rising beyond the two degrees Celsius target," she said in a statement.

Hedegaard said the EU had convinced the conference presidency to call a five-hour ministerial meeting next week to discuss options to help boost short-term emission reduction targets, such as phasing out fossil-fuel subsidies.

Climate observers meanwhile urged the rich world to provide details on how it intended to boost funding for poor nation's greenhouse gas reduction efforts from $30 billion in the period 2010-2012 to $100 billion a year from 2020, as promised.

Failure to put a plan on the table by next week "could see this (conference) start to unravel," Tim Gore of Oxfam International said in a statement.

But Hedegaard said the details would probably not be finalised in Doha.

"We know that we have to come up with more money," said the commissioner.

"People are trying despite difficulties in their countries to come up with the money."

Explore further: Climate talks open in Bonn to tackle emissions targets

Related Stories

EU on track for Kyoto and 2020 emissions targets

October 24, 2012

The European Union (EU) will go beyond its targets to cut greenhouse gases by 2012 under the UN's Kyoto Protocol and is on course for meeting its goal for 2020, it reported on Wednesday.

UN climate talks on edge heading into final hours

December 9, 2011

(AP) -- The United States, China and India could scuttle attempts to save the only treaty governing global warming, Europe's top negotiator said Friday hours before a 194-nation U.N. climate conference was to close.

2015 climate 'roadmap' idea well received, says EU

November 6, 2011

The European Union's top climate diplomat said on Saturday the bloc's proposal for upcoming UN talks to lay down a new "roadmap" leading to a comprehensive global deal by 2015 has been well received.

Melting permafrost 'may speed global warming'

November 27, 2012

Climate talks got down to the nitty-gritty in Doha on Tuesday as developing countries and the European Union (EU) staked out rival positions on the fate of the Kyoto Protocol.

Doha climate talks open amid warnings of calamity

November 25, 2012

Nearly 200 nations gather in Doha from Monday for a new round of climate talks as a rush of reports warn extreme weather events like superstorm Sandy may become commonplace if mitigation efforts fail.

Recommended for you

New Amazon threat? Deforestation from mining

October 18, 2017

Sprawling mining operations in Brazil are destroying much more of the iconic Amazon forest than previously thought, says the first comprehensive study of mining deforestation in the world's largest tropical rainforest.

Scientists determine source of world's largest mud eruption

October 17, 2017

On May 29, 2006, mud started erupting from several sites on the Indonesian island of Java. Boiling mud, water, rocks and gas poured from newly-created vents in the ground, burying entire towns and compelling many Indonesians ...


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.