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Ministers face tough negotiations on GMO’s and Climate milestones

08-03-2012 14:21:00

Minister for Climate, Energy and Building Martin Lidegaard and Minister for the Environment Ida Auken

Photo: The Council of the European Union
Martin Lidegaard and Ide Auken

Friday 9 March Europe's Environmental and Climate Ministers are meeting for a series of important negotiations. On the agenda are GMO’s and a roadmap on climate change up to 2050.

The ministers will try to agree on how the EU - as part of an overall effort by the industrialized countries - can reduce CO2 emissions by 80-95 pct. An important step on the road is milestones for 2030 and 2040. Besides this the ministers will try to reach an agreement on the follow-up on the Durban conference.

"It will be very difficult negotiations. The EU Heads of State have asked the EU Climate Ministers to make rapid progress in achieving agreement on the EU's roadmap towards a low-emission economy in 2050. I hope we can agree on milestones towards 2050 to help set the course toward a greener Europe. I believe we, at the meeting, can ensure that the EU climate policies evolve with the challenges," says the Danish Minister for Climate- Energy and Building Martin Lidegaard.

It might be just as difficult to reach an agreement on restricting or prohibiting the cultivation of GMOs. Three previous presidencies have failed to reach an agreement on the Commission proposal from 2010.

On the one hand, there are 22 Member States who wish to have the possibility to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs on their territory. On the other hand, there is a blocking minority which believes that national restrictions or prohibition on the cultivation of GMOs would be inconsistent with WTO rules, internal market rules or undermining EFSA’s (European Food Safety Authority) risk assessment.

The Presidency has prepared a balanced compromise text, which seeks to bridge the gap between the Member States.

“The discussions on GMO’s are always very difficult. I think we have managed to move the dossier in the right direction and I obviously hope that we will be able to reach an agreement, but nothing is certain." says the Danish Minister for Environment Ida Auken

The ministers will also discuss EU's postion on the Rio+20 Conference, which takes place in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June, including EU's priorities and the question of global Sustainable Development Goals.

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