EU calls 30% target "lever" on others

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The European Union (EU) said Monday that it would not go to the 30-percent emissions reduction target unless other countries make bigger commitments.

The 30-percent target is rather a "lever" to drive others to further emissions cut, Swedish Environment Minister Andeas Carlgren, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, told a press conference at the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

"We won't achieve it until other politicians deliver more ambitious targets on the table to make sure that the EU can deliver what is needed," he said.

The EU has committed to reducing its emissions by 20 percent compared with the 1990 level by 2020.

"I want to go to the 30 percent, but now it's the endgame to release the pressure on other parties," said Carlgren.

Although the EU has repeatedly claimed itself as a leader on fighting climate change and regarded its target as the most ambitious one among all parties, developing countries have urged the bloc to go to deeper reductions according to the "common but differentiated responsibilities" principle under the Kyoto Protocol.

"It's a serious mistake and lack of responsibility from the European countries to commit to such a low degree of reductions," said Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, a leading negotiator speaking on behalf of the Group of 77.

"It's their obligation to rise up to the challenge of serious reduction of emissions because science has already spoken that the world cannot afford inaction," Di-Aping said.

"Europe clearly understands the imperative of urgent action. I do believe that they should move away from considering their national economic interests at the cost of humanity," he stressed.

More than 15,000 participants, including delegates from more than 190 countries, gathered here on Monday for the 15th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The 12-day meeting is expected to seal a deal to fight climate change.

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