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IP/09/211

Brussels/Strasbourg, 4 February 2009

Climate change: Commission welcomes EP recommendations on future EU climate policy

The European Commission welcomes the report adopted by the European Parliament today setting out recommendations for future EU policy on climate change. The approval of the final report from the Temporary Committee on Climate Change shows the Parliament's strong support for ambitious EU action to address the climate challenge. Its recommendations are in line with the Commission's thinking set out in last week's Communication on a new global climate agreement.

"This very comprehensive report further demonstrates the European Parliament's clear commitment both to an ambitious EU climate policy and to contributing actively to its development," Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said. "This commonality of views between the institutions is essential to maintain Europe's leadership in the international negotiations on a new global climate deal. We need to work together and mobilise all our resources to ensure a strong and effective agreement is reached at the Copenhagen climate conference in December."

Commissioner Dimas added: "As this report brings the Temporary Committee to an end, I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the committee on its work, particularly Mr Sacconi, its chairman, and Mr Florenz, rapporteur of the report."

The report highlights that tackling climate change will create new jobs and industries, reduce Europe's dependency on imports of fossil fuels and bring social benefits for citizens. This reflects the philosophy behind the integrated energy and climate change strategy proposed by the Commission and endorsed by EU leaders.

The Commission welcomes the report’s support for the proposal that developed countries as a group should commit to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 25-40% from 1990 levels by 2020 and by at least 80% by 2050. 

These objectives are fully in line with the Commission's thinking, as presented in last week's Communication on the Copenhagen agreement (IP/09/141), and with the conclusions of the October 2008 Environment Council. The EU has set an example by putting in place the measures to cut its emissions by 20% (IP/08/1998) and by committing to increase this reduction to 30% if other developed countries commit to comparable cuts in Copenhagen.

Commissioner Dimas said: "I am very pleased to see the explicit recognition throughout the report that the financial and economic crisis is no reason to postpone action against climate change. Delay will only make it harder and more costly to reduce emissions later. Instead, we must see the stimulus that our economies need now as an opportunity to accelerate investment in the low-carbon industries and 'green' jobs of tomorrow. The Commission has seized this opportunity in its European Economic Recovery Plan which focuses on smart investments to promote sustainable prosperity."


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