European Commission Releases Proposals for “Comprehensive Climate Change Agreement in Copenhagen”

European Commission

28 January 2009: The European Commission has released a communication entitled “Towards a comprehensive climate change agreement in Copenhagen,” which sets out proposals to achieve the EU's objective to ensure that global average temperature does not increase more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. It addresses three key challenges: targets by developed countries and appropriate actions by developing countries; the need to address the financing of actions by developing countries (both to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change); and the need to build an effective global carbon market.

The Commission's proposals include: an emissions reduction target for developed countries of 30% of 1990 levels by 2020; the limitation by developing countries, except the poorest ones, of the growth in their collective emissions to 15-30% below business as usual levels by 2020; the creation of an Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development-wide carbon market by 2015; and innovative international funding sources based on the polluter pays principle and the ability to pay.

The Communication is addressed to the Council, Parliament and EU consultative bodies. The European Council is expected to give its response in March 2009. [The Communication]