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EU Environment Ministers Postpone Decision on 30% Emission Reduction

11 June 2010: The Environment Council of the EU met on 11 June 2010, in Luxembourg to discuss the Communication released by the European Commission on the impact of increasing the present emission reduction commitment from 20% to 30% by 2020, with respect to 1990 levels.

In the Conclusions, the Council takes note of the Communication "Analysis of options to move beyond 20% greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions and assessing the risk of carbon leakage," stressing that it needs to be discussed in-depth in order to prepare the EU for the medium- and longer-term climate change challenges, and the next steps in the international climate negotiations. The Council agrees to revert to it no later than at its October 2010 session, welcoming the intention by the Commission to conduct more detailed analysis on the policy options and costs and benefits, including at member State level, as appropriate.

Elena Espinosa, Spanish Minister for the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs, said this discussion did not  "in any way" represent a rejection of the Commission's Communication, noting that member States requested greater information on energy security, technological leadership and taxation, among other issues. [EU Press Release] [Council's Conclusions]