The full text of the President's letter reads:
"Working together to maintain our ambitions on climate change will
remain one of our most important challenges for this year. Since we did not
have time to discuss this at our meeting last week I would like to share some
thoughts on the work going on in the Commission as I believe we should prepare
well the important decisions ahead of us.
In fact if the European Union does not take the initiative we may end up
driven by the initiatives of others.
Most of us were in Copenhagen, and I think none of us were satisfied with
the outcome. However, Copenhagen was a reality check. We had hoped that leading
by example, and our commitment to step up our efforts to 30%, would be enough
to bring others on board. This did not happen. But this is not the time
for the EU to start doubting its commitments. This would be a mistake.
We need to show that we have not given up on our ambitions, even if many
of our partners found it easier to limit themselves to the lowest common
denominator. We should rather show our commitment to press ahead with
delivery – implementing our climate and energy package showing how tackling
climate change is a dynamic element in a strategy for growth by creating jobs
and boosting energy security under the Europe 2020 approach that I presented
and we discussed last week.
Besides the internal dimension of our work, the international front is as
important as ever to tackling the threat of climate change. We need the
international process to continue, building on what we could agree in the
Copenhagen Accord and finding new ways to instil trust back into the
An important element in this strategy should be the implementation of the
fast start financing we have committed to last December. We should not forget
that those who were working more closely with us in Copenhagen were the
developing countries, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable.
But our core goal must be to bring all partners closer to our own
ambitions and to our commitment to a multilateral agreement. Copenhagen showed
us just how tough it will be. Hence if we are to progress, we have to rethink
our approach to these partners.
I have therefore asked Connie Hedegaard, the Commissioner for Climate
Action, to undertake a consultation of key international partners to find ways
to reinvigorate the international process. I would hope to have some first
thoughts by the Spring European Council, and then to feed the results in full
into the Ministerial level negotiations announced by Chancellor Merkel and the
June European Council. I would of course hope that this process can also
benefit from your own reflections on the direction of partners'
The work we are already doing to tackle climate change can act as a
powerful lever for others to follow – but it must be seen as a genuinely
collective approach. I will be discussing with Herman Van Rompuy the best way
to address these elements in March as well as how we can ensure a powerful and
unified EU voice on these critical issues for the future."
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