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Spotlight on UN Climate Change Conference

5 December, 2008 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún will speak at the 'Ring the changes on climate - countdown to Copenhagen' event organised by Friends of the Earth at St Anne's Cathedral tomorrow, Saturday 6th December, before travelling to Poland to participate in the UN Climate Change Conference in PoznaÅ„, Poland.

Ms de Brún is a member of the European Parliament Environment Committee and the Temporary Committee on Climate Change.

The event will take place on the steps of St Anne's Cathedral from 11am until 12pm on Saturday 6 December.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"We are in a period of great economic uncertainty. But the economic crisis should not be used as an excuse to row back on the progress made to date on setting targets for emissions reductions. If anything, the economic downturn should embolden us to make the jump to the new, green economy more quickly so that many of the old problems of oil demand and energy consumption can be dealt with.

"Investing in new technologies, and moving much more decisively to renewable energies as well as energy efficiency can create more jobs, lower energy bills and indeed saves lives as well as livelihoods.

"The world needs to see renewed momentum and commitment in order to reach agreement by the end of 2009 in Copenhagen.

"Important issues in Poznań will include capacity-building for developing countries, reducing emissions from deforestation (REDD), technology transfer and adaptation. In the European Parliament we are working to reach agreement by the end of the year on a package of legislation to give effect to the targets set by the EU last year to have 20% renewable energy, 20% energy efficiency and a 20%-30% reduction in emissions relative to the 1990 level by 2020. But we are not seeking just any deal. The EU's international credibility on the road to Copenhagen depends on not doing a u-turn on any of our commitments."

Ms de Brún also pointed out the need for local action saying:

"There needs to be a detailed Executive integrated strategy on adapting to Climate Change and to set out how we are going to meet our carbon emissions targets. This strategy should spell out how each sector of the economy and society can contribute to reducing these emissions." ENDS

Note to Editors

The Poznań UN Climate Change Conference aims to:

  • Agree on a plan of action and programmes of work for the final year of negotiations after a year of comprehensive and extensive discussions on crucial issues relating to future commitments, actions and cooperation;
  • Make significant progress on a number of on-going issues required to enhance further the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol;
  • Advance understanding and commonality of views on 'shared vision' for a new climate change regime; and
  • Strengthen momentum and commitment to the process and the agreed timeline.

Other important issues will be capacity-building for developing countries, reducing emissions from deforestation (REDD), technology transfer and adaptation.

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