he participation of some 120 worldleaders at the UN climate conferencelast December in Copenhagenconfirmed that climate change is nowrightly considered across much of the world as anissue justifying attention at the highest political level.It remains at the top of the European Union's agenda. The Copenhagen outcome fell well short of the EU'sambitions and was a disappointment for Europe aswell as many other countries. Nonetheless, theCopenhagen Accord is a step towards the globalclimate agreement the world needs for the post-2012period. It provides a basis that the internationalcommunity can and must build on this year. Even though the Accord was not adopted as a formalUN decision, the fact that some 120 nations haveendorsed it is proof of the broad support it enjoys.Industrialised and developing countries responsiblefor more than 80 per cent of the world's emissions ofgreenhouse gases have included their emissiontargets or actions in the Accord. This demonstratesthe clear determination of a majority of nations tostep up their action. The EU continues to press for an ambitious andcomprehensive global agreement that would also belegally binding. We believe this is the most effectiveway to reach the objective, endorsed in theCopenhagen Accord, of keeping global warmingbelow 2°C above the pre-industrial level and thuspreventing the most severe and dangerous impactsof climate change. With the world's greenhouse gas emissionscontinuing to rise, staying within this temperatureceiling will be possible only with a strong andcoordinated international effort. That is why the EUhas always supported the UN negotiation process. The EU would be ready to adopt a robust and legallybinding global agreement at the next UN climateconference, in the Mexican city of Cancún starting atthe end of November. We recognise, however, thatthis may be too soon after Copenhagen for someParties and that a final global deal may have to wait until the conference in South Africa at the endof 2011. This does not mean that Cancún must not deliver alot - on the contrary. To keep up the momentum, it isabsolutely crucial that Cancún delivers a number ofdecisions leading to specific action. We must pursuea stepwise approach under which Cancúnincorporates the new elements agreed in theCopenhagen Accord - for instance, the below 2°Ctarget, the provisions on monitoring, reporting andverification, and fast start financing - and alsodelivers on some of the areas where the formalnegotiations in Copenhagen did actually bringsubstantial progress. I am thinking here of REDD+ (reducing emissionsfrom deforestation and forest degradation),adaptation and accounting rules for forest emissionsfrom developed countries. In other words there is a full plate for Cancún to deal with.It is clear that swift implementation by the EU andother industrialised countries of the almost US$ 30billion in "fast start" financing they pledged todeveloping nations in Copenhagen is essential torebuild trust in the international process. The EU hasAFTER COPENHAGEN THE WORLD STILL NEEDS A COMPREHENSIVECLIMATE DEAL116PRE-MEXICO REVIEWCONNIE HEDEGAARD, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR CLIMATE ACTIONTPhoto: European Commission
" "PREVENTINGDANGEROUS CLIMATE CHANGEWILL REQUIREWORLD EMISSIONSTO BE AT LEASTHALVED FROM1990 LEVELS BY 2050PRE-MEXICO REVIEW117emissions would fall by only 12-18 per cent below1990 levels by 2020. This is well short of the 25-40per cent reduction that the scientific evidence showsis needed for the world to have even a fair chance oflimiting warming to around 2°C. The collective impact of the actions pledged bydeveloping countries is harder to estimate and largeuncertainties remain. It is, therefore, unclear to whatextent they would lead to a 15-30 per cent deviationbelow business as usual levels in 2020 as needed.Since future growth in global emissions is dominatedby the developing world, this is important andpotentially problematic.The future global agreement must also address theserious weaknesses in the Kyoto Protocol's currentarchitecture. If allowed to continue, they couldeffectively lower the emission pledges currently onthe table by as much as 16 per cent, giving at best anemissions cut of just 2 per cent below 1990 levels in2020 and at worst a rise of almost 3 per cent. These weaknesses, which centre on the rules for theaccounting of forestry emissions and the handling ofsurplus national emission rights for the 2008-2012period, have to be closed if the future agreement is tohave environmental integrity. The development of a well-functioning internationalcarbon market remains essential for driving low-carbon investments and reducing global emissionscost-effectively. It also has the potential to generatemajor additional financial flows to developingcountries. In short, there is still much that needs to be done -also this year. In Cancún the EU will continue topress for progress. In Copenhagen leaders said A: wemust stay below 2 degrees. They also said B: yes, wehave a co-responsibility. 2010 must be about partiessaying C: talk must be replaced by action. This year,and Cancún, must show that from now on the focusis on delivering. ncommitted to provide ?7.2 billion over the years2010-2012, or around one-third of the total pledged by developed countries, and in March theEU finance ministers made clear that EU is ready todeliver - now. Reaching a global climate agreement requires strongleadership. I believe the most convincing leadershipthe EU can provide is to take tangible anddetermined action at home to make itself the mostclimate friendly region in the world. AsCommissioner for Climate Action, this is theobjective I have for my five-year mandate. The European Commission that took office thisFebruary has put greener, low-carbon growth at theheart of our strategy for Europe's development overthe coming decade. Our objective is to decoupleEurope's economic growth from resource and energyuse, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, enhanceour competitiveness, create new jobs and strengthenour energy security. Back in 2007 the EU set an example to the worldthrough our commitment to cut greenhouse gasemissions by 20 per cent and to get 20 per cent ofour energy from renewable sources by 2020. Wehave underpinned our leadership by putting in placelegislation that will help us reach these goals. Andwe have offered to scale up our 2020 emissionsreduction to 30 per cent provided other majoremitters contribute their fair share to a globalmitigation effort. Ambitious targets for 2020 are essential for breakingthe rising trend of global emissions, but they are onlythe first step. Preventing dangerous climate changewill require world emissions to be at least halvedfrom 1990 levels by 2050. The EU recognises thatwe and other industrialised countries will have tocontribute the lion's share of this effort and reduceour emissions by 80-95 per cent over that timescale. That is why the Commission has been examiningpractical options for moving beyond an emissionsreduction of 20 per cent. We are developing ourvision for completing Europe's transition to a low-carbon economy by 2050. This will includescenarios for what needs to be done by 2030. Forinvestors and planners 2020 is just around thecorner. We must now start to look further ahead inorder to take political decisions that can providebusiness and others with the predictability that theyneed.The bottom line for a global deal has to be that itdelivers emission cuts on the scale required to keepthe average temperature rise below 2°C. The pledges for 2020 made by industrialisedcountries to date are clearly not sufficient. CollectiveBIOGRAPHYConnie Hedegaard joined the European Commissionas Commissioner for Climate Action, a new portfolioin 2010. Her ambition is to see Europe become themost climate-friendly region in the world by the endof her five-year mandate.Prior to moving to the Commission, ConnieHedegaard was Denmark's Minister for Climate andEnergy, and before that for Environment. She waselected member of the Danish parliament in 1984at the age of 23, and from 1990 to 2004 sheworked as a journalist and columnist for various TVand print media.