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Extracts from the press briefing by Barbara Helfferich, spokesperson of Stavros Dimas, on 4th anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol

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On the occasion of the anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol on limiting greenhouse emissions, Stavros Dimas, Member of the EC in charge of Environment, called on the international community to follow the European Union on committing to take determined action to cut greenhouse gases. "The European Union is on track to achieve its Kyoto target for 2012, but the speed of climate change means Kyoto must now be followed by a much bolder global agreement," Dimas said. "The EU is committed to cutting emissions to 30% below 1990 levels by 2020 if other developed countries commit to comparable reductions and developing countries contribute adequately according to their responsibilities and capabilities. It is time for our international partners to follow our lead so that negotiations on the new global agreement can shift into top gear." The EC in January set out proposals for a comprehensive and ambitious new global agreement to tackle climate change that would take over from the Kyoto Protocol in 2013. The new pact is due to be concluded at the Copenhagen UN climate conference in December. The next round of negotiations will take place at the end of March in Bonn. The Commission's most recent progress report, based on projections by Member States, shows the EU-15 will achieve its 8% Kyoto emissions reduction commitment. By 2006, EU-15 emissions were 2.7% below the levels in Member States' chosen base years (1990 in most cases). The latest emissions data, for 2007, will be published in late spring. The Kyoto Protocol was agreed in 1997 and came into force on 16 February 2005. In requiring developed countries to reduce their emissions by an average of 5.2% between 1990 and 2012, and by creating market-based mechanisms to help them do so at least cost, the Protocol represents a crucial first step towards limiting world emissions of greenhouse gases. The Copenhagen agreement will have to be far more ambitious, however. The latest scientific evidence shows global emissions will need to stabilised by 2020 and then at least halved from 1990 levels by 2050 to prevent climate change from reaching dangerous levels.
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Type: EbS   Reference: 61899   Date: 16/02/2009   Duration: 00:02:28
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