EU proposes

By Kushal Pal Singh Yadav
Published: Tuesday 31 March 2009

Drastic emission cuts for developed nations

ON MARCH 2, the Council of the European Union released the EU position on climate negotiations. This followed the January-end proposals of the European Commission to negotiate a post-2012 global climate deal. The negotiations will take place in December in Copenhagen.

Overall the EU position closely aligns itself with the Commission's proposals (see 'Unmasked', Down To Earth, March 1-15, 2009). But there is a marked shift in stance on limiting per capita emissions. "Global average greenhouse gas emissions per capita should be reduced to about two tonnes CO2 equivalent by 2050," reads the proposal. EU concedes, in the long term, "gradual convergence of national per capita greenhouse gas emissions, between developed and developing countries, would be necessary, taking into account national circumstances".

This move calls for drastic cuts in per capita emissions by almost all developed countries with many of them required to reduce their per capita emissions by more than 90 per cent from current levels. However, the EU maintains the controversial demand for developing countries, as a group, specially emerging economies like India and China reduce their greenhouse gas emissions 15 to 30 per cent below business-as-usual levels by 2020. EU has once again failed to take into account responsibility of historical emissions by developed countries.

On funding climate change, the EU stand is different from that of G77 plus China, a major group of developing countries. The group maintained funding should come only via multilateral channels within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (unfccc). The EU "reiterates" that funding from bilateral channels, "inside and outside the unfccc, will also remain important".

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