The EU should take a leading role at Climate Conference

27 November 2011 | Article

Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Summit Conference (UNFCCC COP 17), taking place from 28 November to 9 December in South Africa, MEPs voted on 16 November on a resolution calling on the EU to take on a leading role at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban and fight to continue the CO2-cutting Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012. At the same time, they want the EU to push for the extension of the Kyoto protocol unless a new legally binding deal will be agreed.

"International climate negotiations are at crossroads between stagnation and progress - the EU must help to create a new dynamic in Durban." said Environment Committee and Parliament delegation chair Jo Leinen (S&D, DE), after the resolution was adopted by the five main political EP groups with 532 votes in favor, 76 against and 43 abstentions. "The economic crisis must not be used as an excuse not to act. The EU should back the Kyoto Protocol and work with other countries on a roadmap to ensure a comprehensive climate treaty is in place by 2015 at the latest", he added.

The resolution further gives specific mention of the need to go beyond the reduction of 20% carbon emissions which would give an impetus to the economy by creating green jobs and stimulating green growth. Furthermore, the European Parliament invites the EU to give clarification on its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and to confirm that the EU is capable to pass on the second phase of the implementation measures.

Finally, 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 European Parliament will send a delegation to the COP 17 Durban climate talks, chaired by Environment Committee Chair MEP Jo Leinen.