Europe's climate chief-to-be regrets EU disunity in Copenhagen
Brussels (AFP) Jan 15, 2010
Incoming EU commissioner for climate action, Denmark's Connie Hedegaard, on Friday criticised Europe's lack of a united voice at the fraught international talks on global warming in Copenhagen.
Hedegaard made the comments during a three-hour grilling at the European parliament over her suitability for the new post.
The former Danish climate and energy minister, who chaired most of the Copenhagen talks before being replaced by her prime minister following criticism of her methods, said she was "disappointed" that the UN meeting last month "did not deliver binding targets" on greenhouse gas emission reductions.
While insisting that "the EU played a tremendously important role in paving the way for change," she decried the lack of a unified European voice.
"Those last hours in Copenhagen. China, India, Japan, Russia, the US, each spoke with one voice, while Europe spoke with many, different voices.
"Sometimes we spend so much time agreeing with one another that when finally the EU comes to the international negotiations we are almost unable to negotiate," she complained.
"Here we must improve, in order to give Europe a stronger voice."
EU nations had agreed prior to the December talks to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent in 2020 from 1990 levels, with a promise to go further if the rest of the developed world did likewise.
However the climate change conference held in the Danish capital ended with a non-binding agreement which the European Union has blasted as a Sino-US stitch-up which will do little to curtail global warming.
Leaders of some two dozen countries put together a "Copenhagen Accord" that strived to save the gruelling 12-day UN marathon from collapse.
The deal set the aim of limiting warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels, but did not set binding targets to reduce the emissions of gases that scientists say are heating up the world's atmosphere to dangerous levels.
The European parliament is quizzing, this week and next, all 26 nominees for portfolios in EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso's new team.
While the MEPs cannot veto an individual commissioner-designate they can oppose the team as a whole.
From the reaction in the chamber on Friday there appeared to be no major misgivings over the experienced Danish candidate.
Finnish euro MP Satu Hassi said Hedegaard "had demonstrated the political will to be a strong commissioner," even if she had entered the parliament slightly wounded by her ejection from the chair in Copenhagen.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation
Brussels (AFP) Jan 12, 2010
Incoming European Union trade chief Karel De Gucht on Tuesday ruled out pursuing French-led calls to impose a carbon tax at the EU's borders, warning that such ideas risk triggering trade wars. "In terms of border adjustments, I'm against it," De Gucht told lawmakers in response to a question during a European parliamentary confirmation hearing in Brussels. "I don't see that as the right ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2009 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|