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EU Vows to Continue Fight Against Climate Change

Brussels, October 30 1998, Xinhau - The European Union (EU) will continue to take a leading role in making efforts to continue the fight against climate change and to protect environment, said the European Commission here Friday.

The commission expressed the stance as the Fourth Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change will begin on November 2 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The European Commission, the EU's executive body, said that apart from signing the Kyoto Protocol in April 1998, the EU now is on track to stabilize its carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2000 at the level they were in 1990, as promised at the Rio meeting in 1992.

EU Commissioner for the environment Ritt Bjerregaard said, "The fight to reverse emission trends in order to avoid the devastating consequences of climate change cannot be dealt with in one go."

When emphasizing key principles in the fight against climate change, the commissioner said industrialized countries need to demonstrate their willingness to go first. "We create the problem and we must be in the forefront in solving it," he said.

The commissioner also stressed the point that domestic action must continue to be the main means of attacking the problems of climate change and all sectors need to take a good hard look at how they can respond to the challenge of climate change.

"Business as usual is not an option. A more efficient and cleaner use of energy, more environmentally friendly vehicles and a better public transport system and sustainable agriculture are key examples of what we must address," he said.

"Without commitments from i.e. the U.S. and Russia, the reduction achievements from Kyoto will effectively be gone with the wind. We simply cannot allow this to happen," he said.

Among other main objectives for the EU in Buenos Aires, the European Commission in its news release called for developing countries' participation in the fight.

Substantial domestic efforts by industrialized countries will be crucial in demonstrating to developing countries the industrialized world's commitment to solving the problem of climate change, the commission said.

The EU said it will continue to play a bridging role between developing countries on the one hand and the industrialized world on the other. In the long run, global participation will be important to ensure the necessary results, the commission said.

Wednesday 04 Nov 1998
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