Climate Feedback

Mixed start for Europe’s climate super week

Quirin Schiermeier

The European Union’s environment ministers have reportedly agreed on a negotiation mandate for Sweden for the upcoming climate talks in Copenhagen. Sweden currently holds the EU presidency, which rotates every six months. (German).

The EU has previously said it will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 % by 2020. At a speech to the European Parliament, Andreas Carlgren, the Swedish environment minister, yesterday reiterated that the EU will agree to 30 % cuts only if other parties make sufficient commitments in Copenhagen.

“We see the 30 per cent target as a lever to convince other parties to join us in being more ambitious. By 2050 emissions should have dropped by at least 80 per cent,” he said.

At today’s talks in Luxembourg, environment ministers of the 27 EU member states also called for the Copenhagen climate talks in December to set targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from ships and airplanes. By 2020, global emissions from aviation should be cut by 10 %, and emissions from shipping by 20 %, compared with 2005 levels, the group said according to news reports.

Meanwhile, at a meeting yesterday of EU finance ministers, Poland and other eastern EU member countries blocked a decision on climate adaptation aid for developing countries. The group is concerned that their national contribution to the planned adaptation fund will overburden their economies.

Andreas Borg, the Swedish finance minister, complained about “a lack of commitment by certain member states”.

The EU’s heads of states will now attempt to resolve the issue at a council meeting next week in Brussels, when the EU’s negotiation position for Copenhagen is to be rubber-stamped.


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