The European Union on Friday submitted to the United Nations its formal promise on how much it will cut down greenhouse gas emissions ahead of climate change talks starting in November and called on the US and China to follow its lead.
The talks in Paris aimed at seeking a new worldwide deal on how to minimize global warming with the European Union as the first major economy to agree its position.
Miguel Arias Canete, climate and energy Commissioner, told reporters after a meeting of EU environment ministers in Brussels said “We expect China, the United States and the other G20 countries in particular to follow the European Union and submit their contributions by the end of March”.
French Energy Minister Segolene Royal said Europe is taking up its responsibilities as host country of the 2015 Paris climate conference, which begins on Nov. 30.
“A very important step was taken today,” she said. “This is a decisive, historic stage.”She had said on Thursday agreement had to be reached by March 20 at the latest.
The EU’s official pledge is that it aims to cut in emissions at least 40 per cent by 2030, compared with levels emitted in 1990.
The target was set at a summit in October last year, but ministers still had to agree on the details of the formal proposal to the United Nations.
The target has to be achieved domestically rather than through offsets that allow member states to buy into carbon-cutting schemes outside of Europe.
European Union diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, say the 40 % target will have to be shared among member states and debates is only likely to begin after the Paris talks.
One likely option is to share the 40% cut down based on a member state’s GDP per capita. it will have to agreed in another meeting in the coming months.