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Brussels, 9 July 2009

Statement of President Barroso on the result of the meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Climate Change: 2°C target is now written in stone

Coming out of the meeting between the world's major economies in L'Aquila, where the G8 summit is held, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said:

I am happy that one of the EU's most important benchmarks for progress ahead of the Copenhagen climate conference has been reached: The 2°C target is now written in stone. We have for the first time firmly anchored this target for limiting average temperature rises both within the G8 and within the Major Economies Forum.

This sends a strong signal to the rest of the world. If we are to have a fair chance of staying below two degrees Celsius we must cut global emissions by at least 50% compared to 1990 by 2050. This is what science tells us.

The EU has provided leadership by agreeing to cut emissions by 20% by 2020 and more, if others follow.

The road to Copenhagen and a global deal still remains steep and rocky, and the last stretch is always the most difficult. But the scene is now set for the global deal we must reach in Copenhagen in December, and today we have provided our negotiators with a clear yardstick for the deal.

At the same time, we are not asking the impossible of developing countries. Today's statement provides hope for the poorest and most vulnerable countries: We will not allow dangerous climate change to happen. This would jeopardise our global efforts to eradicate poverty.

Developed economies will have to realize the lion's share of these reductions, and the G8 members have agreed to set their economies onto a path that will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 or more recent years. In addition, and in line with these long-term reductions, we are committed to defining robust mid-term targets before Copenhagen.

Through global climate action, we will move to a new era of stronger energy security and green sustainable growth.

After our meetings here in L'Aquila I am confident that we have firmly increased the chances of an ambitious and truly global deal in Copenhagen.

The EU will continue to play its full part, including on finance where we swill bring forward proposals by September. The EU remains determined to inspire and support global climate action in all possible respects.

President Barroso made these remarks, as he was about to enter a further meeting on climate change in L'Aquila with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, European Council President Fredrik Reinfeldt and the Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen as host of the Copenhagen climate change conference.

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