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European Parliament - Cancun conference lays foundation for climate treaty

MEPs have welcomed results from UN climate change negotiations (COP 16) in Cancún, Mexico, which have reached last-minute agreement reached on key issues, including forestry, technology transfer and a climate fund to support adaptation and mitigation efforts in the developing world.

Jo Leinen, chair of the European Parliament delegation to the COP 16, commented, “The UN climate conference in Cancun paved the way for a global climate treaty. It has also kept the path open to continue this multilateral process under the UN, as the EU had supported.

Industrialised countries were asked to improve their emissions reductions targets. Therefore, the European Parliament’s recommendation for the EU to step up to 30% CO2 reductions by 2020 received a warm welcome. We now ask the EU to commit to this step at the Energy Summit on 4 February 2011, for the benefit of our own economic growth. It’s time to lead or lose.

The building blocks of the Cancun agreement will secure better protection of forests and transfer of green technologies to support sustainable economies in developing countries. It also formally establishes a climate fund, in which innovative financing and EU solidarity will be critical elements. This is just the beginning, but it marks an important breakthrough towards a comprehensive and binding deal in South Africa next year.”

Karl-Heinz Florenz (EPP, DE), Vice-Chair of the Delegation, “The Cancun summit has shown that it is actually possible to achieve an outcome. Cancun was a litmus test for the UN process. I would like to highlight the very inclusive atmosphere here. The Mexican presidency has succeeded in balancing transparency and the need for progress.

This package deal is one major step towards a new climate treaty - we managed to keep the balance between the two tracks. I am optimistic that we will be able to reach an agreement in Durban, even if we were not able to introduce an end date into the text.”

The European Parliament will discuss the Cancun results on Tuesday afternoon at its plenary session in Strasbourg.

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