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President Barroso Highlights Ambitious EU Targets at UN Climate Summit, Pledges Aid to Developing Countries

Speaking at the UN Climate Summit in New York City today, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said that the European Union will aim to cut domestic greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, and set a renewables target of at least 27 percent and energy savings of 30 percent. “I am confident that EU leaders will seal this deal at their summit in October.”

President Barroso noted that “these targets are milestones on the way to our broader objective of cutting emissions by 80- 95 percent by 2050. In effect, we are in the process of de-carbonizing Europe’s economy.”

“Tackling climate change is not the sole responsibility of governments. It will only succeed in a true coalition of all stakeholders, business leaders, financial institutions and civil society,” Barroso said. “It is essential that we already raise the ambition of pre-2020 emission cuts.” Addressing climate change requires global and collective action. President Barroso urged those countries with the greatest responsibilities and capabilities to put forward their contributions by March 2015 at the latest.

Calling climate change one of the defining threats of our times, President Barroso pointed out that it also presents an opportunity to reinvent economies in a cleaner, leaner, greener and more efficient way.

Furthermore, the EU is ‘mainstreaming’ climate action into all its policies with the agreed aim to spend 20 percent of its overall 2014-2020 EU budget on climate action, which will amount to 180 billion euros spent inside and outside the EU by 2020.

“Support to the most vulnerable parts of the global community is critical in this regard,” President Barroso said, announcing that “over the next 7 years, the EU aims to allocate more than 3 billion euros in grants to support sustainable energy in developing countries.”

President Barroso was joined at the Summit by EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.