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2009-08-31: As an agreement that will keep global warming below two degrees C can probably not be found in Copenhagen, instead the EU should see December’s UN conference as a starting point, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt says.

The European Union and other countries eager to ensure an ambitious global deal on climate change should prepare to settle for less, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Chair of the EU under its rotating presidency, warns.

“I am confident that we will have an agreement, but at this point I doubt it will be enough to reach the two degrees target. The world is set on making a deal, but compared to the 2006 situation a lot of momentum has been lost. Too many seem to want others to take on the burdens,” Fredrik Reinfeldt tells Danish daily Berlingske Tidende.

While acknowledging the leap forward in US climate policy around the change of government, Mr. Reinfeldt still sees American commitments as too modest:

“They have not moved enough. And you can draw a direct line from there to the standpoints of the major developing countries.”

According to the interview in Berlingske, Fredrik Reinfeldt eyes special terms for USA and China as a way to unlock the present stalemate situation. China could point to a target year in which its skyrocketing emissions would peak, and the USA might commit to a plan under its own conditions – probably with a later target year than 2020, which the EU and other industrialized countries use.

“In Europe we need to consider this as an ongoing process. We (Europeans) do like legally binding targets connected to quotas and reductions commitments, but it is important that we are open to other types of solutions,” Mr. Reinfeldt says, while adding that having an agreement in Copenhagen is the top priority:

“Kyoto (the Kyoto Protocol) expires and we know that humankind is facing a global threat. If we don’t get an agreement now, we will be left without any answer to this threat.”

2009-09-01: The Swedish EU Chairman Fredrik Reinfeldt is criticized for lowering expectations for the outcome of the UN climate conference.

With less than 100 days to go before the UN climate conference in Copenhagen it is not the right time to tune down expectations of an ambitious deal. That is the message in the editorial of the Swedish daily Helsingborgs Dagblad to the Swedish Prime Minister and EU Chairman Fredrik Reinfeldt, who earlier this week doubted that the UN climate conference would reach agreement on the two degree target.

“The EU has to believe in an ambitious climate deal,” the editorial states, saying that Fredrik Reinfeldt should stick to the high ambitions on the subjects of climate and environment that he has earlier highlighted.

“It is important not to be knocked down by the resistance that is met around the world. It is important for the rich world to take responsibility and help the poor,” the editorial states.

In the Danish daily Berlingske Tidende both right and left wing politicians urge the EU chairman to keep up high ambitions, and the WWF criticizes the EU chairman for contributing too little to solutions on the climate agenda.


Extpub | by Dr. Radut