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EU prepares for Copenhagen UNFCCC

Brussels, 28th January 2009. The European Commission today released its proposals for an EU stance at the forthcoming Copenhagen United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting.

The document recognises that maritime transport is a large and rapidly growing source of greenhouse gas emissions and that it should now be included in the international climate change framework. It goes on to say that “as part of the Copenhagen agreement the UNFCCC should set targets for reducing the climate impact of [shipping] below 2005 levels by 2020, and significantly below 1990 levels by 2050.”

Further the Commission calls on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) “to facilitate the development and adoption of such global measures by the end of 2010”, identifying market-based measures, including emissions trading, as cost-effective ways of achieving emission reductions. The Commissions goes on to say that “if at the end of 2010 there is no agreement in… IMO, emissions from international… maritime transport will be counted towards national totals under the Copenhagen agreement which will ensure comparable action by all developed countries” and that “if no effective global rules to reduce GHG emissions from this sector can be agreed upon, the EU should agree its own measures”.

The Copenhagen UNFCCC meeting will take place in December with a number of preparatory meetings during the year.

The EU 27 must agree its stance by March.

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions (COM(2009) 39 final).
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European Commission web pages concerning EU involvement in the global climate negotiations.