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WWF reaction to European Council conclusions on climate change


Brussels, Belgium - At the European Council just concluded in Brussels, European heads of State and government have failed to support the unconditional 30 per cent greenhouse gas emission reduction target by 2020, which is deemed necessary for Europe to do its fair share to combat climate change.
Instead, European leaders have stressed the need to analyse economic impacts of climate protection on large polluters and potentially exempt some industrial sectors from the polluter pays principle entrenched in the EU Emission Trading Scheme.

“European leaders continue to focus on the dinosaurs in the energy intensive industry rather than on the potential for innovation, jobs and export opportunities that measures to reverse climate change could create. They run the risk to miss the big picture of the huge costs Europe and humanity will have to face if no serious action is taken now,” says Dr Stephan Singer, Head of European Climate and Energy Unit at WWF.

“We are extremely disappointed that leaders did not commit to support for developing countries’ fight against climate change and its consequences”.

WWF hopes that in the coming months the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers will be courageous in resisting business pressure and make bold decisions that match the scale of the climate change challenge, not only in Europe but also in developing countries, for the well-being of future generations.

On a positive note, heads of State have committed to finalise the EU energy and climate package by the end of the year, to come with a positive result to the international negotiation in December 2009. To ensure this result is positive, in June the European Council needs to recommit to an unconditional 30 per cent domestic cut of climate pollution in Europe.


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