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UN Climate Change Conference - Karl Falkenberg interview

Europe proposes most ambitious deal yet, says EU environment chief

Article published on the 2009-12-15 Latest update 2009-12-15 17:42 TU

EU Director General for Environment Karl Falkenberg(Photo: R Hyams)

EU Director General for Environment Karl Falkenberg
(Photo: R Hyams)

In an interview with RFI, Karl Falkenberg, the EU’s Director General of Environment, says that the EU has tabled an “ambitious” deal on climate change that it is willing to make “legally binding”.

Interview: Karl Falkenberg, EU Director General of Environment

15/12/2009 by Rosslyn Hyams

“I haven’t heard that from any of the developing countries," Falkenberg added. 

"I’ve heard certain actions that India, Brazil, China, are prepared to undertake. But [...] one of the points we’re still fighting here, that we’re still negotiating, is to see whether those developing countries would be prepared to internationalise their national actions.”

Falkenberg, who used work for the European Commission’s trade department, wants those countries to sign up to an international agreement.

In a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, he wants to “maintain this legally binding-ness” and “expand it to more parties”.

The German diplomat, a keen cyclist, believes the European Union’s negotiations have been fair to poorer countries, although he is keen “to know the level of commitment by the emerging developing countries”.

The latest draft proposal from discussions on Tuesday failed to set any specific targets for limiting global warming.

Falkenberg spoke to RFI as France joined with African nations in calling for specific targets to limit the rise in global temperatures to 2° Celsius.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy met Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, spokesman for the African bloc in Copenhagen, in Paris on Tuesday.

Sarkozy said he will call on the United States and Britain to join France in raising fresh money for developing countries to adapt to climate change and to cut greenhouse gases through levying taxes on aviation, shipping and financial transactions.

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