EU chief urges India and China to help cut greenhouse gas emissions
Nov 12, 2007, 12:06 GMT
Rome - Europe must take the lead in cutting environmentally harmful greenhouse gas emissions, but developing giants such as China and India must also do their bit, the European Union's top official said Monday at the start of the 2007 World Energy Congress.
EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso made the appeal during a keynote speech at the Rome gathering organized by the World Energy Council, a United Nations-accredited non-governmental organization present in over 90 countries.
'The European Union has put its cards on the table. As the world's biggest importer of energy, and second biggest consumer, I think it was important for us to take the lead,' Barroso said.
He was referring to an energy and climate-change package approved by the 27-nation bloc earlier this year which aims to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.
'This is an essential first step on the road to our ultimate goal: to reach a shared vision on reducing global emissions by at least 50 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050. Nothing less will do if we are to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels,' Barroso said.
The EU would bring its proposals to next month's UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, Barroso said, adding however that success also depended on 'new flexible and fair commitments' from developing countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Such commitment would form the basis of a 2012 post-Kyoto agreement, Barroso said. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol aimed to reduce emissions, however, some countries such as the United States refused to ratify.
'Let me be clear: we do not expect countries like India and China to take the same commitments we do. But we do expect them to de- couple energy consumption and growth, in line with our common but differentiated responsibilities,' he said.
Earlier this month China - which is soon expected to overtake the US as the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases - rebuffed EU calls for it to accept binding targets to reduce its emissions.
However, EU parliamentarians following a visit to China expressed confidence Beijing would cooperate with the bloc especially if the EU were to share its clean-coal technology with the Asian giant which relies on coal to provide 70 per cent of its energy needs.
The World Energy Congress which is in its 20th edition this year is also scheduled to feature interventions by Indian Energy Minister Sushilkuma Shinde, his counterpart from Qatar, Abdulla bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, as well as US Energy Secretary Samuel W Bodman and Russia's Industry and Energy Minister, Viktor Khristenko.
The World Energy Congress continues until Thursday, November 15.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur