" "THE EUROPEANUNION WOULD BE READY TOREACH A LEGALLY BINDING DEAL IN CANCÚN, BUT IT IS EVIDENT THAT SOME OTHERKEY PLAYERS ARE NOTetting a global climate agreement that isstrong, comprehensive and legallybinding remains a top priority for theEuropean Union. It is clear that the globalchallenge of climate change can be tackled effectivelyonly through firm action by all the world's majoreconomies. Shifting from our carbon-intensive growth model to alow-carbon future is not only a vast challenge but alsoa huge opportunity to reinvigorate our economies andaccelerate our exit from the crisis. Innovation in low-carbon technologies such as energy efficiency,renewable energy and carbon capture and storagepromises to generate new sources of economic growthand jobs and strengthen our energy security. As European Commissioner for Climate Action, Iintend to ensure the European Union stays in thevanguard of this revolution through proactive climateand energy policies. Europe has committed unilaterally to cut ouremissions to 20 per cent below their 1990 level by2020, and we have passed legislation to achieve thisgoal. We are offering to increase our reduction to 30per cent over the same timescale if other majoreconomies commit to take on their fair share of thenecessary emissions effort. And for the long term wehave set ourselves the goal of cutting our emissions,together with other industrialised countries, to 80-95per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.The Copenhagen conference last year did not take theworld as far towards a global climate deal as many ofus had hoped. The political will was not there. TheCopenhagen Accord nevertheless represents progressand provides a sound basis to build on. Firstly, industrialised and developing countries alikeaccepted for the first time that they share jointresponsibility for keeping global warming below 2° C toavert the worst impacts of climate change. Some 140 countries, responsible for more than 80 percent of global emissions, have associated themselveswith the Accord, and over 75 have notified targets oractions to limit or reduce their emissions. The pledgesso far fall well short of what is needed to stay below2°C, but they are a start. Secondly, the industrialised world has putconsiderable funding on the table to help developingcountries combat climate change: nearly US$30billion in "fast-start" finance for 2010-2012 andUS$100 billion a year by 2020. Thirdly, in several areas the Copenhagen Accordprovides important political guidance for thecontinuing negotiations on a global agreement.The European Union would be ready to reach a legallybinding deal in Cancún, but it is evident that someother key players are not. Many of the problems wefaced in Copenhagen remain with us today. But thatdoes not mean we should not be ambitious. There ismuch that Cancún can and must deliver.The challenge for Cancún is to deliver an ambitiouspackage of decisions that responds to this need -apackage that both captures the progress achieved sofar and lays a solid basis for completing a global dealas soon as possible. It needs to be a balanced packagethat covers both tracks of the negotiations. It shouldalso lead to immediate action on a number of issues. Our developing country partners are clearly focusing onRight: Connie Hedegaardaims to see Europebecome the mostclimate-friendly region in the worldCANCÚN MUST TAKE US ABIG STEP CLOSER TO AGLOBAL CLIMATE DEAL026GLOBAL VOICESCONNIE HEDEGAARD, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR CLIMATE ACTIONG
GLOBAL VOICES027ensuring progress on a number of priority issues. Theseinclude addressing tropical deforestation, supportingtechnology cooperation as well as adaptation to theadverse impacts of climate change, and ensuring thatwe put the main elements of a long-term financingframework in place. Progress on these issues isimportant, but not enough. For the EU it is key that the Cancún outcome alsoaddresses mitigation by anchoring the emissionpledges made under the Copenhagen Accord into theUN process. This will provide a framework forstrengthening these pledges through internationalcooperation. To support the Cancún package and makeearly progress on the ground, some of the decisions tobe taken there should be underpinned by the launch ofspecific projects in developing countries financed byfast-start funding. The developing world understandably sees prompt, full and transparent delivery on the fast-startcommitment as a key test of the rich world'strustworthiness. The EU is well on track to deliver onits pledge of ?7.2 billion. We will provide a full reporton how we deliver in Cancún. Cancún should also address the future of theinternational carbon market. While I see no doubt thatthe Clean Development Mechanism will continue, wewant to see a strong message in support of overhaulingit to give it greater environmental integrity andintroducing new sectoral carbon market mechanismsthat can capture the considerable potential foremission savings in the major emerging economies. The EU is concerned about the lack of balancebetween the two tracks of the internationalnegotiations, which became so pronounced at theBonn session in August. This imbalance couldthreaten the success of Cancún if it persisted. The bottom line is that the United States and the majordeveloping economies have got to play their respectiveparts in a global deal if the world is to have a chance ofpreventing dangerous climate change.We could - but only on clear conditions -considersigning up to a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol. Kyoto in its current form will not keep global warming below 2°C - it covers less than 30 per cent of global emissions. The serious weaknesses which undermine the Protocol's environmental integrity also need to berectified before a second commitment period could be considered. We are ready. We think that the rest of the world shouldget ready - so that at the latest in South Africa we canreach the strong, comprehensive and legally bindingglobal agreement the world needs. Despite theobstacles that remain I am confident that, underMexico's leadership, Cancún can produce a balancedpackage of decisions which takes us a major stepcloser to that goal. nABOUT THE AUTHORConnie Hedegaard joined the European Commission as Commissioner for Climate Action, a new portfolio, in 2010. Her ambition is to see Europe become the most climate-friendlyregion in the world by the end of her five-yearmandate.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 1984 at the age of 23, and from 1990 to 2004 she worked as a journalist and columnist for various TV and print media.