Meeting in Brussels yesterday (December 2) the commission felt the ‘crucial importance’ of the UN climate change conference.

Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, who is due today (December 3) to hold a joint press briefing with Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham institute for climate change and the environment, and Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, chair of the intergovernmental panel on climate change.

He said: “In Copenhagen world leaders must take the bold decisions needed to stop climate change from reaching the dangerous and potentially catastrophic levels projected by the scientific community.

“We must seize this chance to keep global warming below 2°C before it is too late.

“But, Copenhagen is also an historic opportunity to draw the roadmap to a global low-carbon society and in so doing unleash a wave of innovation that can revitalise our economies through the creation of new, sustainable growth sectors and green collar jobs.

“The European Union has set the pace with our unilateral commitment to cut emissions 20% by 2020 and our climate financing proposals for developing countries.

“We will be ready to scale up our emission reduction to 30% provided our partners in both the developed and the developing world take on their fair share of the global effort.”

International negotiations were launched at the end of 2007 to draw up a United Nations agreement on tackling climate change for the period after 2012, when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends.

Luke Walsh

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