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Brussels, 30 May 2011

Statement by Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action on the latest carbon emissions estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA)

''Carbon emissions are at their highest ever levels in history, according to the latest estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The figures mean that the world is very far from achieving the goal of preventing a temperature rise of more that 2 degrees Celsius.

One wonders how many more worrying figures the world needs. The promises of world leaders at Copenhagen and Cancun to stay below 2 degrees of warming need urgently to be followed by more action.

In the European Union, emissions from the sectors covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) have actually decreased by more than 8% in the period 2008-2010, the same timeframe covered by the IEA estimates. This of course reflects a new global reality and differences in where economic recession hit hardest as well as in regions' capacity to recover. But added to that is the fact that we in Europe have specific policies, binding targets and a price on carbon. Europe has committed to an ambitious agenda of climate action. We look to our partners to do likewise.''

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