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EC President Outlines Five-year Programme

7 September 2010: European Commission (EC) President Manuel Barroso sent a letter to the European Parliament to present his political guidelines for the next five years, including on climate change.

Presenting an outline of the main elements guiding the preparation of the Commission Work Programme, Barroso emphasized the continuing priority to tackle the economic crisis by, inter alia, moving to a resource-efficient society. He noted the need to generate more growth using fewer resources by integrating the different strands of policy on climate change, energy, transport and the environment into a coherent approach on resource efficiency and a low-carbon future, in preparation for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, also called Rio+20) in 2012.

He announced that that the Commission will propose a substantial reform of the common agricultural policy to make it sustainable, competitive and environmentally friendly, so as to address global food security, biodiversity loss and the sustainable management of natural resources. He also reiterated that the EU will continue to lead the fight against climate change in its internal and external policies.

He pointed out that the 2011 work programme will include: measures to move towards a low-carbon economy to 2050, and scenarios within which the EU can revolutionize energy and transport in the decades ahead; proposals to mainstream climate change into EU policies; an energy efficiency strategy mapping out how to reach the target of 20% for 2020; the right regulatory framework for energy infrastructure, prioritizing smart grids; a new approach to Europe's strategic transport infrastructure; and a comprehensive look at airport capacity to boost competition, better serve consumers' interests and improve airports' environmental performance. [The Letter]