They discussed climate protection commitments in view of the current crisis and work to be done ahead of the Spring European Council.
Prague, February 24th, 2009
Delegates from the EU Environment and Finance Ministries and the Commission met in Prague on 24 February to discuss climate protection commitments in view of the current crisis and work to be done ahead of the Spring European Council.
At the Tuesday meeting in Prague the Finance and Environment delegates endorsed the ambition of the European Union to become a key global player in the fight against climate change.
The EU as a whole already made a significant step forward when it adopted the energy and climate package, committing itself to cut the volume of greenhouse gas emissions by 20 % by 2020 (by 30 % on condition that other major polluters such as the USA, China, India and Brazil will agree to commit themselves to similar reduction targets). However, this ambition cannot succeed without the involvement of other global players. This is why the Czech Presidency of the EU Council is holding talks with these important greenhouse gas producers on the possibility of them joining the international system of climate protection and adhering to the new climate deal, to be negotiated in Copenhagen in December 2009. “The EU Member States are aware that this deal will require the introduction of functioning mechanisms under which developed countries will provide aid to developing countries in order to mitigate the impact of climate change”, said Czech Deputy Finance Minister Tomáš Zídek.
Another important topic on the agenda of the meeting were possible financial mechanisms that could help the developing countries reduce emissions and contribute particularly to their adaptation to adverse consequences of climate changes (such as drought, rising sea levels etc).
“High representatives of the Finance and Environment Ministries of the EU Member States do not have enough opportunities for joint meetings to discuss common issues. This meeting, which was organised by the Czech Presidency, provided the first significant opportunity for common discussion, that is necessary for successful negotiation of a global agreement on climate protection in December 2009 in Copenhagen,” stated First Deputy Minister of the Environment Jan Dusík.
All participants confirmed the exceptional significance of the common meetings of representatives of the Environment and Finance Ministries and they expressed their will to continue such meetings. It was also confirmed that the discussions of the specification of the EU opinions and their realisation in international meetings will be further continued after the approval of the conclusions of all Council formations in March 2009.
The conclusions of today’s informal meeting will provide the basis for the EU Environment Council meeting on 2 March and the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meeting on 10 March in Brussels.
Radka Kohutová, Spokeswoman of the Ministry of Finance
Jakub Kašpar, Spokesman of the Ministry of the Environment
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