Start legally binding CO2 cuts, campaigners tell EU
A campaign to persuade the European Union to commit to legally binding annual emissions cuts will be launched on Wednesday.Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke will join Friends of the Earth campaigners in Brussels to launch The Big Ask Europe campaign and meet with European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas.
It calls for the EU to commit to at least 30% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions within Europe by 2020 and 90% by 2050.
It follows The Big Ask campaign in the UK, which was launched by Yorke in May 2005 and encouraged people to write to their MPs asking for laws to be written to reduce emissions.
The UK will become the first country in the world to set legally binding CO2 targets when the Climate Change Bill becomes law later this year.
Friends of the Earth campaigners across Europe were set to hold their own events to mark the campaign launch, including snowman rallies in Finland and surrounding Netherland's parliament with sandbags.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Yorke said: "We will never wake from the nightmare of climate change unless our national governments and the European Union act.
"They are the only ones who can put the structure in place that will help us tackle climate change."
Tom Picken, international climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth, told edie it was vital to get the EU to drastically cut emissions.
He said: "The fact is, climate change is a global issue. While it is important that countries like the UK can show the leadership needed, what is fundamental is that countries all across the world do it so that emissions come down."
He said Friends of the Earth believed a 90% cut by 2050 is not just necessary to stop the earth warming more than two degrees, but achievable.
Mr Picken said: "The solutions are there. What is lacking is the political will."
He encouraged people to get involved in the campaign by visiting www.thebigask.eu
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