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Brussels in brief, WW200906

Barroso, Pachauri and Stern look to low-carbon world in 2050

22.06.2009

It is widely known that the UN climate change conference this December in Copenhagen will be key to forming a post-Kyoto international agreement from 2012. But what happens afterwards? In May, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso met to discuss such questions with Dr Rajendra Pachauri and Lord Nicholas Stern. Dr Pachauri is the chairman of the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change, and Lord Nicholas Stern wrote the influential Stern Report on the cost of climate change and has since received a Nobel Prize for his work.

President Barroso subsequently issued a statement on the trilateral meeting. He started by talking about the upcoming Copenhagen conference. “It's now time to move from a European deal to a global deal.” Adding that the main subject of discussion at his one-on-one meeting with US President Obama in Prague was climate change and energy, he went on to talk of the importance of getting countries like China and Russia involved: “And although the US is of course vital, we cannot forget the others.”

Barroso, Pachauri and Stern also looked to 2050 and the need to create a low-carbon society by then. “Measures to bring about economic recovery can and must also serve to strengthen Europe's energy security and our battle against climate change.” Barroso said, calling the fight against climate change “a real opportunity for global prosperity”.  

“We need to grasp this enormous opportunity to mainstream climate protection into all our policy areas, such as power supply, construction, and transport”, he went on. “We need to come up with concrete policies to decarbonise our electricity supply and transport fuels, to transform the grid.” For Barroso, this is the next Commission’s main task, but before that happens, world leaders must “seal the deal in Copenhagen.”

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