BRUSSELS, International — Greenpeace activists evaded tight security at an EU summit in Brussels earlier today with a peaceful action calling on European leaders to increase their commitments to cut greenhouse gases and boost ongoing global climate negotiations in Copenhagen. But while the breach in security only briefly disrupted proceedings in Brussels, the reluctance of EU leaders to increase their emission target in accordance with science is a threat to the security of millions of citizens in Europe and the rest of the world, said Greenpeace.
Following a press conference by EU Council president Fredrik Reinfeldt tonight, Greenpeace EU climate policy director Joris den Blanken said: "The security threat here is the failure by EU leaders to protect their citizens from the disastrous effects of climate change, not that some peaceful activists unfurled a couple of banners. EU leaders must increase their unconditional emission target from 20% to 30% to push for a binding agreement in Copenhagen."
On Thursday afternoon a Greenpeace motorcade, carrying 11 activists, entered EU summit grounds amid official government delegations and stepped out onto the red carpet used by European presidents and prime ministers, unfurling banners that read: 'EU: save Copenhagen'. The activists attempted to hand over a blueprint for a strong global climate treaty, but were taken away by security officers. All activists have been arrested and are still in police custody.
"The EU has been a clear step ahead since the Kyoto climate agreement in 1997. Now other countries like Japan and Norway are being more ambitious and it looks like the current EU leadership is getting cold feet. Indecision from the EU is not what brought the US to the negotiating table and is certainly not what will clinch the deal in Copenhagen," said den Blanken.
For more information on what the EU can do, go to: ‘Cheating the Atmosphere: why the EU can do more for the climate’: www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/press-centre/policy-papers-briefings/cheating-the-atmosphere-16-11-09
To read the blueprint for a strong climate deal, created jointly by six NGOs including Greenpeace, go to: www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/ngo-copenhagen-treaty