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EU Leaders Resist Attempts To Scupper Climate Change Action

17 Oct 2008

Friends of the Earth has welcomed the European Union's pledge to carry on with its plans for tackling climate change, despite attempts by a number of member states to water them down in the face of the economic downturn.

Friends of the Earth's climate campaigner, Robin Webster, said:

"The EU must continue to resist short-sighted efforts to wreck its plans for tackling climate change - urgent action is essential to safeguard our economy and our environment.

"Even ambitious climate change plans are likely to cost less than one per cent of member states' GDP. Delaying action will increase the devastation caused by climate change and the costs associated with this will make this figure seem like small change.

"Failing to manage the economy properly has created a huge financial headache - but failing to tackle climate change could be terminal."

Notes

1. Council conclusions available at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/cms3_fo/showPage.asp?id=432〈=en&mode=g

2. During the EU summit, Poland and Italy threatened to veto crucial measures to curb CO2 emissions and reduce European dependency on fossil fuels. But at the end of two days of heated talks in Brussels, EU leaders confirmed their commitment to finalise the climate and energy package before international climate negotiations take place in December. However, last minute changes weakening the final document have been made.

3. The environmental campaign group welcomed Ed Miliband's statement this morning that the UK is "absolutely committed" to a 30 per cent cut in EU carbon emissions - but warned that a number of European nations are likely to continue with their efforts to undermine Europe's climate plans.

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