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EU must set the pace for Kyoto imlementation

15 February, 2005

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today called for the EU to set precise targets for reductions in greenhouse gases beyond 2012, as part of a renewed focus on the issue of global climate change. Ms de Brún said that the world currently faces a 'huge environmental challenge.'

Ms de Brún was speaking on the eve of the Kyoto Protocol entering into force tomorrow (Wednesday 16.02.05).

Speaking from Brussels Ms de Brún said:

"The world faces a huge environmental challenge in the next number of years. The Kyoto Protocol is not a panacea for combating climate change. Nevertheless, Sinn Féin welcomes the entering of the Kyoto Protocol into force, as a small but significant contribution towards combating global climate change.

"Individual countries and industry must transform their way of thinking on global warming. A much greater effort is required internationally, as a number of countries including the USA have refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. While we welcome the recent decision by Russia to ratify Kyoto, progress in this area requires greater pressure for action from those who have yet to actively commit to addressing climate change.

"The EU must also set the pace internationally. It is essential that we set precise targets for reductions in greenhouse gases beyond 2012, when the second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol begins. We must demonstrate what is possible in the time ahead.

"Climate Change is one of the most important issues facing humanity at present. A recent report by the European Environment Agency indicated that Europe is warming faster than the rest of the globe. It has been estimated that 7 billion tonnes of carbon is released into the atmosphere every year.

"Environmental threats transcend borders and Sinn Féin is committed to playing its part in bringing forward and supporting policies which effectively combat climate change." ENDS

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