EU Prepares for Resuming Climate Change Negotiations

18 February 2010: European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has written to EU Heads of State and Government outlining next steps in the Commission's work on climate change.

In a letter, Barroso proposes prioritizing implementation of the fast-start financing for developing countries, and requests Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard to consult with key international partners to find "new ways to reinvigorate the international process." He  underscores the intention to "maintain our ambitions on climate change," noting that if the EU does not take the initiative it may “end up driven by the initiatives of others.” He recalls that at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, the EU had hoped to "lead by example" with a commitment to step up emission reduction efforts to 30%, "to bring others on board" without success. He stresses the need for the international process to continue, building on the Copenhagen Accord and finding new ways to instill trust back into the process. Barroso also identifies as a core goal to bring all partners closer to the EU commitment to a multilateral agreement, noting the need to rethink the EU's approach to these partners.

The European Commission has also announced the creation of two new Directorates-General (DG) for Energy (DG ENER) and Climate Action (DG CLIM). DG CLIM will be created from the relevant departments in DG Environment, DG External Relations and DG Enterprise and Industry. Jos Delbeke (Belgium) has been appointed Director-General of DG CLIM. [Barroso's letter] [EU Press Release]