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UN climate talks

EU commitment to continuing Kyoto would provide crucial impetus to climate talks

With this year's UN climate summit (COP17) set to commence in Durban on Monday (28 November), the Greens today set out their demands from the EU (1) at a press conference in the European Parliament. Commenting after the press conference, Green MEP Bas Eickhout, who will represent the Greens on the EP delegation to the COP17, said:

“The EU strategy of waiting for everyone to jump at the same time has failed and a new approach is needed: Europe holds the cards to make a game-changing move that could revive the flagging climate talks. A clear commitment from the EU to continue the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012 would give a new impetus to the talks and help secure an alliance with developing countries to create a comprehensive binding international climate agreement by 2015 at the latest.

"Clearly, resolving the current flaws and loopholes under the Kyoto Protocol - notably on how emissions from forestry and land use are accounted, as well as the issue of hot air or surplus emissions permits - is essential if the protocol is to be environmentally sound. However, a clear commitment from the EU to Kyoto would enable Europe to determine the terms of the post-2012 Kyoto and resolve these loopholes.

"The current greenhouse gas target of a 20% reduction by 2020 is not only at odds with the EU's pledge to limit the increase in global temperatures to below 2 degrees, it is also holding back the European economy and green innovation. The EU needs to step up to a 30% target immediately to help spur green growth and create jobs across Europe.”

(1) Click for a more detailed briefing on the Green demands for Durban.