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Brussels, 4 June 2007

President Barroso calls for G8 progress on climate change and trade and highlights African development

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has called for next week's G8 summit in Heiligendamm to commit to further urgent international action on climate change. He underlined that this commitment needs to extend to fast developing emerging economies, leaders of five of which will attend part of the summit. President Barroso also said it was time for the EU's partners to make the next move towards a successful end to the Doha trade round, responding to positive steps already taken by the Union. He welcomed the focus on development issues on the G8 agenda and called for Europe and the world to keep their promises to Africa.

President Barroso, who will represent the Commission at the summit, believes that Heiligendamm presents an important opportunity to build on an developing global consensus on the urgency of responding robustly and quickly to the threat posed to lives and prosperity by climate change

"The EU has given a lead with its far-reaching climate and energy package. Now the G8 needs to give a strong signal that the whole world can pick up, in the approach to the UN Conference on Climate Change in December 2007. Global warming needs a global response. A globally binding, enforceable and differentiated system with carbon trading at its core and agreed by 2009 is what Europe proposes for the post-Kyoto period after 2012", said the President.

On WTO negotiations, the Commission sees possibilities to conclude the trade and development round as planned in 2007, provided that others follow the European example and make substantial moves.

The future of Africa will be a central theme at the summit. President Barroso welcomed the comprehensive approach, more widely based than at previous G8 meetings.

"Debt relief and aid are crucial, but there is so much more to do. So at this G8 we will also discuss issues like how to improve investment conditions, political dialogue on good governance, human rights and the rule of law as well as how to step up the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis This is a sign of the maturity of our relations with our African partners."

President Barroso nevertheless reminded G8 leaders and all EU Member States - of the aid commitments made in 2005. "We need to do more to keep our promises - even if collectively the EU is well on track", he said.

"The world needs the G8 to reach out to it. One summit cannot perform miracles. But it can make a difference. A difference on tackling climate change, on opening up trade for mutual benefit and on giving the world's poorest people hope. I will do everything in my power to make sure this G8 meeting makes that difference," President Barroso concluded.

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