Today, Tuesday 29 May, the EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, and the Minister for Climate, Energy and Buildings, Martin Lidegaard, discussed climate change and its impact on developing countries with 160 parliamentarians from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries as well as from the European Parliament. They are assembled to attend the Joint Parliamentary Assembly taking place in Horsens during the Danish EU Presidency.
The Commissioner for Climate Action sent a strong message on the fight against climate change and poverty, saying they go hand in hand. She said:
"The transition to sustainability does not come at the expense of growth. During the past 20 years many countries have experienced social and economic growth, but we need to involve more people in the future - not least in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. I think we have had an interesting discussion today and I hope we can use the RIO+20 Summit next month to kick off the global transition to a sustainable growth model for the 21st century. We cannot afford not to have concrete results in Rio."
ACP and EU countries, which together represent 105 countries on four continents, are preparing a joint statement on sustainable development up to the RIO+20 Summit. RIO+20 was on the agenda when Minister for Climate Martin Lidegaard addressed the Assembly. After the debate, he said:
"We need to form alliances across continents if we are to make a difference on climate change. It is therefore encouraging to see the commitment to the climate agenda, which policy makers from Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific and the European Parliament have shown today. The fight against climate change is like mountain climbing. It's not about how high the mountain is, but how to climb it."