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EU Spring Summit

European leaders must keep their promises on climate change policy

On the eve of this year's spring European Council, the Greens/EFA group call on the European Council to stick to the promises they have repeatedly made during the past year including at the 2007 spring Council, the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm and the UN climate change conference in Bali.  Rebecca Harms and Claude Turmes, Vice-Presidents of the Greens/EFA group, called on action to back up these words, saying:

"We call upon the Council to prevent any further weakening of the Commission's proposals regarding the market package and the climate and energy package. These proposals are not ambitious at all, but are based on lengthy considerations. The EU will lose both its credibility and its leading role in the UN climate change negotiations if the compromises achieved are now called into question. Today we know that the proposed targets are too low to achieve the 2°C goal concerning global warming. Reducing CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020 sounds ambitious, but is in fact far below the necessary climate change goals. Heads of State and Heads of Government have to resist pressure from environmental offenders like the automobile and energy-intensive industry.

Climate change policy requires a common European strategy and so does the energy supply security. Therefore, we ask the Council to reject the current status quo where every Member State negotiates individual deals for energy. The "Northstream" and the "Southstream" pipelines both clearly symbolise the lack of a common policy on energy supply security. The recent decisions regarding the Mediterranean Union failed to conceal that French President Sarkozy is trying to establish an export-import agency for nuclear technology, weapons and natural resources. The Council must not accept the divisive tactics of Member States pursuing their national interest. Only if Europe speaks with one voice canit have a powerful position when negotiating with Russia or other resource-rich countries.

In addition we expect that those Members States trying once again to play off environmental protection against economic interests will be duly rebuffed. Only when the negative effects of economic growth are taken into serious consideration can there be a true chance for sustainable development in Europe. The current threatening developments in global warming are a clear case in point."

Rebecca Harms will be present at the EU Summit in Brussels on Thursday evening and on Friday and will be available for media statements and interviews.

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