Thursday, October 27, 2011

Environment: Climate summit - EU should champion Kyoto Protocol, says Environment Committee

Source: European Parliament

Committee: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

The EU should show leadership at the UN climate summit in Durban and give full support to continue the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012, says a resolution voted by the Environment Committee this morning. MEPs also say the EU's economy would benefit from aiming above the current 20% greenhouse gas reduction target.

"The continuation of the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012 will decide the success or failure of the Durban summit. The EU must show the necessary leadership to prevent a stalemate in climate negotiations." said Environment Committee and Parliament delegation chair (*) Jo Leinen, after the resolution was adopted with 53 votes in favour, 4 against and 3 abstentions.

Parliament is due to vote on the resolution in its 15-17 November plenary session, two weeks ahead of the UN COP 17 Summit in Durban, South Africa.

Support for Kyoto

The resolution says the EU should give "public and unequivocal" support to the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, a landmark binding international agreement that commits industrialised countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. MEPs want to avoid any gap after the current phase expires at the end of 2012.

More than 20% emissions cuts

Echoing previous climate resolutions, the Environment Committee says the EU should aim beyond its current 20% emissions reduction target for 2020. Doing so would be in its own economic interest, given the benefits of "green jobs, growth and security".

Climate fund and other measures

MEPs want the EU to help find agreement on the sources and management of a Green climate fund to support developing countries, which should reach US$100 billion per year by 2020. The EU's contribution should rise to a guaranteed €30 billion, while maintaining funding of internal climate policies.

New measures are also needed to curb aviation and marine emissions (excluded from the Kyoto protocol), and to address land use change. In the face of challenges by some countries outside the EU, MEPs stand firmly behind legislation they approved in 2008 to include aviation in the EU emissions trading system from 1 January 2012.

MEPs are concerned that there is a "gigatonne gap" between international commitments and the UN target of limiting average global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. UN scientific reports have concluded that that industrialised countries

need to reduce their emissions by 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020.

The resolution, including adopted amendments, will be published in due course.

In the Chair: Jo Leinen (S&D, DE)

* Parliament delegation to the UN COP 17 summit: Chair Jo Leinen (S&D, DE), Vice-chair Karl-Heinz Florenz (EPP, DE), Kriton Arsenis (S&D, EL), Bairbre De Brún (GUE/NGL, UK), Pilar Del Castillo (EPP, ES), Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL), Elisabetta Gardini (EPP, IT), Dan Jørgensen (S&D, DK), Corinne Lepage (ALDE, FR), Vladko Panayotov (ALDE, BG), Anna Rosbach (ECR, DK), Oreste Rossi (EFD, IT), Richard Seeber (EPP, AT), Francisco Sosa Wagner (unattached, ES) and Marita Ulvskog (S&D, SE)