At the EU summit today, European leaders re-committed to 30% greenhouse gas emissions reductions compared to 1990 at the upcoming global climate talks in Copenhagen in December. The EU position stands in dramatic contrast to that of the US which has so far suggested making reductions of only some 4% below 1990 levels by 2020. European leaders have also backed funding for climate action in poor countries of up to $75 billion (€50 billion) annually by 2020.
"The European commitments raise the stakes for the climate negotiations," said Damon Moglen, Director of Greenpeace USA's Global Warming Campaign. "As the country with the greatest historical responsibility for causing climate change, the US now needs to lead the way in addressing this problem. Its an embarrassment that while other countries are developing clean and renewable technology, the US seems addicted to its fossil fuels and unwilling to enter the clean energy era. President Obama pledged to lead on climate change, he needs to bring much more ambitious commitments to the upcoming climate negotiations."
The Obama Administration has long suggested that the US position for the climate talks will be based on pending Congressional legislation. But, with that legislation pending in the Senate, the only bill passed so far is that passed in the House of Representatives in the summer of 2009. While the international scientific consensus recommends between 25 - 40% emissions reductions below the 1990 baseline, the House bill only calls for a weak 4% target.
Contacts: Damon Moglen, Greenpeace USA Global Warming Campaign Director; 202-352-4223. Joe Smyth, Media Officer; 831-566-5647