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Brussels/Washington, 15 February 2007

Climate change: Commissioner Dimas urges start of negotiations on global agreement to succeed Kyoto

To mark tomorrow's second anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol's entry into force, European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas called for the international community to begin negotiations urgently on a comprehensive global climate change treaty that would succeed Kyoto when its targets expire in 2012. Commissioner Dimas is in Washington until tomorrow for talks with high-level US government officials and members of Congress on future global climate change action and other environmental issues. To coincide with the Kyoto anniversary the Commission is hosting a meeting of European meteorologists and television weather presenters in Brussels as part of its campaign to raise awareness of what individuals can do to help combat climate change.

Commissioner Dimas said: ” It is crucial that the United States and all other major emitters participate in these efforts. The very grave threat that climate change poses is global, and only a global solution can avert it. I am very encouraged that interest is rapidly increasing in the United States for using emissions trading as a key tool to limit greenhouse gas emissions, as we are doing in Europe.

The Kyoto Protocol is a landmark first step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but much deeper cuts are needed to prevent dangerous levels of climate change that would have huge economic, social and environmental impacts on all of humanity. In the light of the alarming new global warming projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change earlier this month, the international community must urgently start negotiations on a comprehensive and ambitious new global agreement to succeed Kyoto. "

Commissioner Dimas continued: “With the climate change and energy package we put forward on 10 January the European Commission is leading the way in showing what needs to be done. The essential next step must be for developed countries as a group to reduce their emissions to 30% below 1990 levels by 2020. Developing countries also need to start reducing the growth in their emissions in line with their ability to do so. This bold action is achievable and affordable – and it is essential if we are to have a chance of limiting global warming to no more than 2°C above the pre-industrial temperature. 2°C is the threshold beyond which science tells us that the risk of irreversible and possibly catastrophic changes will sharply increase. For the sake of future generations we cannot afford to let that happen."

During his visit to Washington Commissioner Dimas is setting out the ideas contained in the integrated energy and climate change package presented by the Commission last month (see IP/07/29). The package aims at stepping up the global fight against climate change, increasing the European Union's energy security and strengthening its competitiveness.

By putting forward concrete targets and proposals for action, the package has created fresh momentum in discussions to prepare the ground for a new global climate change agreement. The Commission wants to see this translated rapidly into the start of concrete negotiations.

Meeting of meteorologists

As part of the Commission's "You control climate change" awareness-raising campaign, more than 45 meteorologists and television weather presenters from across the European Union will meet tomorrow at the Commission's Berlaymont headquarters in Brussels. As both climate experts and media personalities in their home countries, weather presenters are well placed to help the campaign's aims of raising public awareness about climate change and what individuals can do to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They are being invited to form a network to support these goals.

The meeting will be opened by the Commission's Director-General for Environment, Mogens Peter Carl. Other speakers include Mr Jerry Lengoasa, Assistant Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organisation, and two lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's forthcoming Fourth Assessment Report, Prof Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (Germany) and Professor Pavel Kabat of Wageningen University and Research Centre (the Netherlands).

The campaign seeks to give people a sense of personal responsibility by providing practical tips on how everyone can help to reduce emissions through small gestures such as installing energy-efficient lamps and recycling waste. It is using a variety of communication tools including television, online and outdoor advertising, a dedicated website and a special schools programme.

The list of participants in the meeting is given in Annexe. Requests for interviews should be directed to Edelman public relations, Tel: 02 227 61 78, Email: tom.o'

See MEMO/07/58

EU action on climate change

"You control climate change" campaign


Marcus Wadsak
weather presenter, ORF national TV, trained meteorologist
Andreas Jäger
Weather Presenter /Editor
Jill Peeters
weather presenter at VTM, commercial TV - meteorologist Flemmish TV
Jean-Charles Beaubois
weather presenter at RTBF, French speaking TV
Mincho Dosev Praznikov
leading meteorologist
Ivaylo Slavov
meteorologist, TV Met
Czech Republic
Tatana Mikova
weather presenter at CT1, national TV station, trained meteorologist
Ditte Falkenberg
TV weather presenter, meteorologist
Jesper Theilgaard
TV weather presenter, meteorologist
Annely Adermann
weather presenter, now spokesperson TV3
Matti Eerikäinen
Meteorologist, Channel four Finland
Evelyne Dheliat
weather presenter at TF1
Marina Raibaldo
weather presenter at FR 3
Fabienne Amiach
weather presenter at FR 3
Inge Niedek
meteorologists with ZDF German TV
Dieter Walch
meteorologists with ZDF German TV
Maxi Biewer
weather presenter, RTL Television GmbH
Chalkis Vasileios
Hellenic National Meteorological Service
Dimitrios Ziakopoulos
Hellenic National Meteorological Service
András Reisz
weather presenter at MTV
Nuala Carey
TV weather presenter, RTE
Gerald Fleming
Chairman of the Public Weather Services Group in (WMO )
Luca Mercalli
chairman of the Italian Metereologist Society
Andrea Giuliacci
weather presenter Italia 1
Arūnas Bukantis
Head of the Hydrology and Climatology Department of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Vilnius University
Naglis Šulija
TV weather presenter, press meteorologist
Peter Timofeeff
weather presenter RTL4
Katarzyna Trzaskalska
meteorologist , TV1
Jaroslaw Kret
weather presenter, TVP1
Tomasz Zubilewicz
meteorologist, TVN

Teresa Abrantes
meteorologist, National Meteorological Institute
José Peso
meteorologist, National Meteorological Institute
Patrícia Marques
meteorologist, National Meteorological Institute
Dr. Elena Cordoneanu
weather presenter,REALITATEA TV, Bucharest
Florin Busuioc
weather presenter Pro TV, Romania
Peter Jurcovic
weather presenter, radio stations and TVTA3
Dr Milan Lapin
renowned climate change expert
Manuel Toharia
Tomàs Molina
Chief Meteorologist Televisió de Catalunya; Chairman International Association of Broadcast Meteorology IABM
Abel Flores Famades
Meteorologist, Canal Meteo
José A. Maldonado
TVE, meteorologist
Martin Hedberg
meteorologist and weather person Sveriges Television
Par Holmgren
meteorologist and weather person Sveriges Television
Tanja Cegnar
Pres. Slovenian Meteorological Society
Michael Fish
Ex BBC Weather Presenter, Meteorologist
John Teather
Director of The Weather People Ltd., founder and former editor of the BBC Weather Centre; Secretary of the International Association
Bill Giles OBE
Director of The Weather People Ltd., founder and former Chief Broadcast Meteorologist at the BBC Weather Centre; Publications Secretary of the International Association
Francis Wilson
weather presenter, Sky News

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