Monday 03 September 2012

groundWork, Friends of the Earth, South Africa

EU Drops Its Mask – Reveals No Intention to Fight Climate Change

BANGKOK, THAILAND, 03 September 2012 – Today, at an informal session of UN climate negotiations, the European Union announced that it did not expect the depth of emissions cut targets to be increased; despite the fact those currently proposed risk 6 degrees C of global warming.

Addressing the first round of talks launched in Durban, the EU rejected a part of that package, which was to look at how to increase emission cuts now, before agreeing to a new climate deal after 2020.

Addressing the room the European Union delegate said it was “unlikely to see changes in pledges this year or in other parts of the world.” The increase in “pledges” or targets, was a key part of the agreement in Durban last year.

The EU delegate continued that the focus should be on “actions” of countries, the language used in the negotiations to describe developing country commitments. At this stage developing countries’ commitments actually represent a larger contribution to reducing emissions than developed countries’ low pledges.

Reacting to the statements European civil society condemned the false face of EU climate diplomacy.

All around the world - from the melting of the Arctic ice shelf to the floods, droughts and famines threatening the lives of millions of the world’s poorest people - the impact of climate change is already being felt.

The EU's response to this planetary crisis is to put the economic interests of its dirty polluting companies ahead of those of its own citizens and those looking to the EU to do its fair share of tackling the climate crisis.

Today’s announcement by the EU that it is sticking to a 20% emissions target riddled with loopholes and false accounting tricks effectively means that the EU will do nothing for this whole decade.

It’s a huge missed opportunity for the EU to move towards the sustainable low carbon economy of the future that will deliver green jobs for its citizens whilst also helping to save the planet.

This shocking betrayal by the EU of its own promises made at the Durban climate talks takes yet another wrecking ball to the worlds climate talks. The hope now rests with the people of Europe to send a clear message to the EU that it does not speak in their name.


Asad Rehman, Friends of the Earth, England Wales and Northern Ireland, and 0044 795 621 0332