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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Green MEPs welcome strong message ahead of Cancun climate summit

The European Parliament today adopted a resolution setting out its position on the forthcoming UN climate summit in Cancun [1]. Green MEPs welcomed the resolution, which calls for stronger EU action on emissions and resolving contradictions in the EU’s negotiating position.

After the vote, Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, said: “The EP has today sent a strong signal that the failings of Copenhagen cannot be repeated at Cancun. MEPs have also underlined the need to resolve the contradictions in EU climate diplomacy and truly live up to the promises made in Copenhagen; this will be vital to ensuring that Europe contributes to a positive outcome at the COP16 in Cancun.

“Crucially, MEPs have called on the EU to improve its current greenhouse gas target for 2020 by moving to a 30 per cent reduction target (from 20 per cent currently). Recent analyses have revealed how utterly obsolete the EU’s current 2020 emissions target is. To stick to this target would risk exceeding the maximum temperature rise of 2 degrees, resulting in dangerous climate changes including more floods, droughts and rising seas. Indeed, according to recent UN reports, even 30 per cent is not enough. In reality, we should really be talking about reductions of at least 40 per cent. Until then, EU governments, as a very minimum, must step up to the 30 per cent target.”

Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for the South East, added: “I welcome the European Parliament’s call for the EU to send a clear signal about its openness to continuing with Kyoto. This is a key step for rebuilding trust in the UN climate negotiations. Unfortunately, ongoing disagreements between Member States over core problems with the Kyoto Protocol (like hot air and how to account for forestry emissions) risk hampering any development and damaging relations with developing countries.

“The EU’s position on climate aid to developing countries also risks damaging the prospects of the negotiations. Not only is the EU short of the aid it pledged at Copenhagen last year [2], it is using loans and accounting tricks to make up much of its pledges. For this reason, the EP has called for the EU to live up to its pledges on fast-start climate financing and to ensure this is new and additional aid, and not loans or recycled aid from development budgets.”

Notes to editor:

[1] The 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16) of the UNFCCC will take place from 29 November to 10 December in Cancun, Mexico.

[2] The EU pledged to deliver €2.4 billion per year in funding to developing countries for climate change mitigation and adaptation from 2010-12. The expectation is that this would be new funding, additional to existing development aid commitments, and would not be in the form of loans.