The key area of disagreement was whether all countries could recognise that the Commission’s finding regarding the cost-effective way to meet the EU’s goal might be achieved.
Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Martin Lidegaard, the President of the Environment Council, reacted by stating:
“26 Member States signed up to a compromise. One Member State refused to compromise in spite of serious efforts from the Presidency and from all other Member States to deal with their concerns. Milestones are not binding but are necessary if the EU is to stay in the lead on green growth. This is the right thing to do, both for economic and environmental reasons.
I want to praise the spirit of compromise shown by 26 Member States today. With their support I am sure that the EU will continue its climate strategy work.”
Good progress was made today on the follow-up to the Durban climate conference including decisions on the length of the second commitment period and the EU’s emission budget for the period until 2020 under the Kyoto Protocol.
“I think this is good news for the international climate negotiations. The EU has continually shown global leadership and I am pleased to announce we are ready to submit information to the United Nations Climate Secretariat on its commitments until 2020. I am pleased that we also have managed to make progress on a common EU position on how to limit the impact of carry-over of surplus emission allowances under the Kyoto protocol” says Minister Martin Lidegaard.
Last year in June the Hungarian Presidency also failed to broker a compromise in the Environment Council on the EUs future climate policy. At that time Poland vetoed Environment Council conclusions taking note of the European Commission’s finding that a 25% domestic reduction by 2020 would be in line with the pathway, consistent with the long-term climate objective in 2050. This spring the Danish Presidency raised the issue once again focusing on longer-term milestones in 2030 and 2040. Milestones - being non-binding in nature – are only a first step towards later deciding on binding climate targets.
At the Durban conference in December the EU committed to enter into a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. For this reason, the EU will put forward information on its emission reduction budget – the so called QELRO – before 1 May 2012.