Copenhagen and climate change talks

Having seen the latest meeting of the Maldives cabinet held underwater to highlight the fact that it could be the first nation to sink below the waves, I spent yesterday evening in a long voting session on a European Parliament resolution, preparing the EU’s strategy for the crucial climate change talks due to take place in Copenhagen in December.

As an active member of the Parliament’s Environment Committee, I have been involved over the past few years in agreeing ambitious legislation to slash Europe’s CO2 emissions from 1990 levels by 20% by 2020 or by a t least 30% in the event of an international agreement. It is on this firm ground that the EU is going in to these negotiations, as a leading player with established credentials.

I voted to support two fundamental points:

1. The need to maintain ambitious targets which should be a 25-40% reduction in emissions for developed countries compared to 1990 levels

2. Help for developing countries – Stressing the historical responsibility of developed countries and the obligation we have to assist developing and least developed countries to adapt their economies. This aid should be additional to existing commitments, not instead of.

I also believe that we need to enable as much technology transfer as possible to developing countries. This means sharing our low carbon technologies so they can reduce their own emissions in the most cost effective and painless way.

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