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EU Environment Ministers need to ‘raise the bar’ on Climate Change

20 October, 2008 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún speaking ahead of the two-day meeting of EU Environment Ministers on Monday and Tuesday this week in Luxembourg has called for the EU to agree tough new targets for tackling Climate Change.

The MEP outlined 3 steps that the EU should take to address the issue.

She has also written to Irish Government Environment Minister John Gormley urging him to 'raise the bar' on Climate Change.

Ms de Brún said:

"This is a crucial moment in defining Europe's climate change policy. This meeting of EU Environment Minsters will have a long term impact on how we move to tackle the issue.

"I believe there are three key steps, which represent the minimum required from Europe if we are to do our fair share to keep global warming below 2ºC, and to help those vulnerable communities in poor countries who have done least to cause climate change and are already suffering its harshest impacts.

They are:

  1. The improvement of the EU reduction target for emissions from 20% to 30% as soon as an international agreement is reached, as proposed by the European Commission and the Parliament, without another round of internal EU negotiations.
  2. Strong measures to ensure that EU member states keep their commitments on emissions cuts, as proposed by the Parliament.
  3. The commitment of 50% of the revenues from the auctioning pollution permits to help developing countries deal with climate change, as agreed by the European Parliament Environment Committee, including a cross-section of Irish MEPs, in the report by FG MEP Avril Doyle.

"It is time for Europe to raise the bar on Climate Change. Unfortunately there are some such as Silvio Berlusconi and others trying to undo the good work the EU has done so far.

"I have written to Environment Minister John Gormley urging him to stand firm for a strong climate policy. As a Green Minister who understands climate change and its global equity implications, I would expect a strong position from him on this package of proposals." ENDS

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