Friday, September 14 14:12:32
French President Francois Hollande today called for deeper cuts in European Union carbon dioxide emissions as he sought to put the environment back at the top of the international agenda.
Hollande recommended a 40 percent cut in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2030 and a 60 percent reduction by 2040 at the European Union level, well beyond the 20 percent target set for 2020.
"We have an ambitious strategy," Hollande told an environment conference in Paris, adding he would defend those targets at the European Union level.
The EU's current target is to cut emissions by 20 pct below 1990 levels by 2020.
It has said it would consider moving to a 30 percent cut by 2020 if other rich economies followed suit with a similar level of ambition, but that is looking increasingly unlikely due to economic constraints caused by the euro zone crisis and opposition from some EU member states.
Hollande also said Europe would reiterate its 20 percent cut target at the next round of U.N. climate talks in Doha in November.
CO2 emissions rose by 3.2 percent last year to 31.6 billion tonnes, spurred by increases from China, according to estimates from the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Based on current and predicted future emissions growth, scientists have warned the world is on a dangerous track to devastating climate change as the world heats up from man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
At United Nations' climate talks last year, almost 200 nations agreed to sign a new, legally binding deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 and for it to come into force by 2020. The current emissions-cutting pact, the Kyoto Protocol, expires at the end of this year. Under the deal, almost 40 industrialised countries agreed to collectively reduce their emissions by 5.2 percent over 2008-12 from 1990 levels. (C ) Reuters