9th Apr 2020

UK presidency to focus on climate change

The UK’s EU presidency in the second half of 2005 will have a strong focus on the environment and on arresting climate change, a high ranking Downing Street official told a conference in Brussels on Tuesday (19 April).

The UK’s presidency will take place in the middle of its year-long presidency of the G8, an informal grouping of the world’s eight richest countries, where climate change and Africa will be the main topics.

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"The presidency falls during the time of major annual summits with China, India and Russia", where the UK hopes to exert some influence in international climate change policy," Henry Derwent, UK prime minister Tony Blair’s special representative during the G8 presidency told the Brussels Climate Change Conference.

The start of international negotiations for the post-2012 period, when the Kyoto climate treaty expires, will begin near the end of 2005 under London’s watch of the EU’s rotating leadership.

Those talks will be officially launched at the first ever conference for countries that have signed up to the Kyoto Protocol, which will take place between 28 November and 9 December in Montreal, Canada.

"We must accept the future may not be like the past and repeat a target and trading approach", said Mr Derwent.

The UK presidency will also make an effort to boost medium- and long-term reduction strategies for greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, the EU-15 pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8 per cent by 2012 on 1990 levels, but experts say that will be nearly impossible since emissions are only one-third of the way to the target at this stage.

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