Time for action

With climate change talks in Copenhagen upon us already the Socialist Group in the European Parliament have spelt out our key messages.

1 – Reduce emission
2 – Create jobs
3 – Fund developing countries

I spoke of this to Centre-Left leaders at a Party of European Socialists meeting on Monday.

I told them I felt proud of the achievements of Labour MEPs and the Socialist Group in the European Parliament. We put in place firm, practical measures that will see the EU’s total emissions cut by 20% by 2020 based on 1990 levels and by a minimum 30% in the event of an international agreement at Copenhagen.

It is easy to say that this is too little, but we shouldn’t forget that these are not just targets – but concrete legislative measures which demonstrate Europe’s resolve and willingness and put us on a firm footing to go into these talks.

This will be key- as will financing. We simply will have no credibility if we cannot offer a meaningful and additional financial package to help the developing world – which has not had the benefit of our carbon-intensive development – to green their economies. And it must be additional to existing development aid commitments, not simply diverting money from pledges already made to help the world’s poor.

It really is make or break time now and I am clear on the need to avoid a political fudge. What we need is an ambitious, comprehensive, legally enforceable agreement.

The time for words has long past.

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