Europe offers formal support for Copenhagen Accord

The EU has formalised its backing for the Copenhagen Accord telling the UN that it sees the limited agreement that came out of December's COP15 meeting as the 'first step towards a legally binding agreement for climate protection as of 2012'.

In a letter to the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change the EU also reiterated its commitment to reducing its carbon emissions by 30% – as long as other countries take comparable action according to their ‘responsibility and capability’ – and 20% regardless of the action of others.

The UK’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband said: “Today’s decision to keep the offer to move to 30% demonstrates the EU’s commitment to maintaining a strong signal to the world on the urgency to act on climate change.

The goal of moving to 30% has always been and remains conditional on others showing similar ambition. We must now continue to push for bold cuts in emissions beyond the 31st deadline.

The Copenhagen Accord was an important step forward but we now need to redouble efforts to secure the legally binding treaty, and complete the unfinished business of Copenhagen.”

Spain currently holds the Presidency of the EU, and the country’s Environment Minister Elena Espinosa said: “The Spanish Presidency both will bolster and broaden out as wide a consensus as possible on the Copenhagen agreement within the United Nations Process.

“We are already working together with our partners in order to make operational the elements of the Copenhagen Accord as soon as possible and to pave the way for a successful Conference of the Parties to be held in November in Mexico.

“Europe not only has a historical responsibility but also the capability and experience it needs to integrate climate change in its model for growth and development and in its relations with third countries.”

Sam Bond

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