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" "THE DURBANCONFERENCE, ON THE AFRICANCONTINENT,SHOULD REMINDUS OF THE ESSENTIALS OFTHE BATTLEAGAINST CLIMATECHANGE: IT ISABOUT SOLIDARITYWITH THE POOREST COUNTRIESt so happened that I became president ofthe European Council, right after thedifficult Copenhagen Conference onClimate Change of December 2009.European leaders had hoped that Copenhagen wouldset up a global scheme in order to tackle climatechange by global action. But the world seemed not tobe ready yet. Since that experience, Europe has learned two things.First of all, we will have to work in a stepwise approachtowards a global climate regime. The road may be long,but the direction should be clear. For us, the end goalremains a binding global climate regime. We areconvinced that only such a regime can offer anenduring response to one of the world's major globalchallenges. Secondly, in attendance of this regime, theworld will not be paralysed. Many countries in theworld are already implementing concrete climateaction, which we fully welcome. Earlier this year, I wasin China. I saw with my own eyes what I already hadheard and read about: a "green growth" revolution istaking place in China. In Europe, we are happy to seethat carbon pricing and emissions trading is inspiringseveral of our international partners. At the start of my mandate, I decided to put climatechange and energy at the agenda of the EuropeanCouncil. Certainly, the sequels of the financial andeconomic crisis, and in particular the necessity tosecure the stability in the Euro zone, have asked a lotof attention of the European Union. Yet we keptclimate and energy policies at the agenda. It is anothersign that economy and ecology go hand in hand. Onlya more sustainable growth will help the world toovercome current and future challenges. We must findthe ways and means to decouple economic growth andthe use of natural resources. ACTION IN EUROPEIn developing a green economy in Europe, we do notstart from scratch. Over the past years, a range oflegislative instruments on biodiversity, wastemanagement, water and air quality have beendeveloped. An emissions trading scheme wasestablished. Binding targets on climate change wereadopted. Moreover, they are on track. We will meet ourbinding target to reduce 20 per cent of greenhouse gasemissions by 2020 compared to 1990 and we willreach 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020. Over 60 per cent of the newly installed capacity forenergy production is based upon renewable sources,mainly wind and solar energy. All this has certainlystimulated the growth of the European "eco industries":they now represent over 2.5 per cent of EU GDP andprovide jobs to more than 3 million people in Europe.The European Council is giving major impulses for thefurther development of the green economy. In Februarythis year, and most exceptionally, we had a meeting ofthe Heads of State and Government especially devotedto the challenges in the field of energy and climatechange. We took a set of important decisions.First of all, we consider that "green growth" is a mainpillar in our new economic strategy, the Europe 2020Strategy. This represents a clear choice for a low-carbon economy with efficient use of resources. Wewill use our scarce resources such as water, land andforests more efficiently. We need to develop the righttools and incentives that will bring us there. TruetoEuropean traditions, it will be a mix of regulatory andmarket-based instruments. One needs the carrots andthe sticks: adequate regulation, but also the rightinvestment in skills, research & development andGREENGROW THIN EUROPEANDBEYONDEnergy and Climate at the Agenda of The European Council130G20 MEMBER COUNTRIESHERMAN VAN ROMPUY, PRESIDENT, THE EUROPEAN COUNCILI

G20 MEMBER COUNTRIES131Below:Herman VanRompuy, President of TheEuropean Councilinnovation. Secondly, the energy efficiency objectiveneeds to be on track as well: by 2020, Europe shoulduse 20 per cent less energy. It is another contributionto our overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions:there is no cleaner energy than the non-used energy.There is a large potential for reduction, in particular intransport and in buildings, but more action is needed. Thirdly, Europe will promote investment in low-carbontechnologies: clean vehicles, smart grids etc. Financeis of course a crucial element. One should acknowledgethe risk that current pressure on national budgets leadsto cuts in growth creating policies. This would bedramatic, since investments in energy security andinnovative technologies are drivers for economicgrowth. This is why European leaders agreed that inconducting fiscal consolidation, expenditure fosteringsustainable growth in areas such as energy andinnovation deserves priority. Moreover, they reaffirmedto use 50 per cent of the revenue from the emissiontrading scheme for climate policies as from 2013. EUROPE NEEDS THE WORLD Europe is ambitious, but cannot tackle climate changeor biodiversity losses on its own. Global problems needglobal solutions. Europe truly believes in the addedvalue of common, global action. We believe in the two-track strategy: ambitious EU policies and a frameworkfor global action and cooperation. Last year was asuccessful year for multilateral environmental action:it saw the fruitful Nagoya and Cancun Summits. TheEU has invested a lot in helping to achieve such goodresults. Cancun has given a major boost to the process.The adoption of the Cancun Agreements in December2010 is certainly a milestone; it has proven that thereis a strong belief and willingness to develop a trueglobal partnership in the fight against global warming.The stepwise approach that we have developed forCancun seemed to be an effective and broadlyaccepted strategy. This strategy is still valid today. WHAT NOW FOR DURBAN? Our full support is with South-Africa to make Durban asuccess. Durban should build further on the renewedconfidence that Cancun created. Durban has to bringus a mix of implementation and negotiation. TheCancun agreements need to get real flesh and bonenow: new institutions, mechanisms and bodies have tobe set up, such as for adaptation and the ClimateGreen Fund. Yet the difficult issues need to be tackledtoo. Leaders should acknowledge the gap between theglobal ambition shown so far and the agreed 2°C ofmaximum global warming. Transparency arrangementshave to be fully developed. And we need a solution toensure the continuation of a rules-based system. Thereis still a long way to go, but Durban can bring usconsiderably further. Finally, the Durban Conference, on the Africancontinent, should remind us of the essentials of thefight against climate change: it is about solidarity withthe poorest countries. Moving towards a low-carbonworld is an act of solidarity with those who are mostvulnerable to the consequences of climate change.Europe is a major donor of the "fast-start" finance,both through the EU budget and the national budgets.The money is floating. We are on track to meet ourimportant commitment of 7.2 billion Euros over theperiod 2010-2012. This represents one third of theglobal commitment. Europe has developed climatepartnerships with developing countries all over theworld. Through these, we support climate action formitigation and adaptation. And we give priorityconsideration to the most vulnerable. The Union alsoconfirms to contribute to the global commitment of100 billion dollars by 2020. Climate solidarity willremain crucial. Our full support is with the South-African COP Presidency to make Durban into aSummit with success. n