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Europe

UN Climate Chief Warns EU Not to Miss Policy Deadline

The head of the UN climate change body said Friday, Oct. 17 it would be dangerous if the European Union failed to meet its December deadline to agree its climate-change policy.

Yvo de Boer, the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

UNFCCC chief de Boer heaps more pressure on the EU to deliver on climate promises

"There is a danger that the EU be seen as not delivering on the commitment before the end of the year on how they intend to achieve" the target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Convention on climate change, told reporters in Paris.

European Union leaders came under pressure earlier this week to roll back their climate-change plans as the global financial crisis bites.

After Italy and Poland brandished the threat of a veto if their reservations were not taken into account, Germany, Europe's largest economy, also voiced concerns over the ambitious environmental plans.

The 27 heads of state and government eventually agreed the package should be introduced in a "cost-effective manner... having regard to each member state's specific situation."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called for "some flexibility" to be shown to accommodate the dissenters.

De Boer said there had been a huge positive response from the international community when the EU originally agreed on the 20 percent target.

"But if I look at (Thursday's) conclusions... they seem to open the door of possibly not finalizing the package," he said.

"It's a matter of deadline, because the package was going to be finalized in December at the same time that (190) governments are meeting in Poznan," in western Poland, to discuss climate change.

De Boer said the idea had been that the EU would be able to say: 'This is how we intend to achieve the minus 20 percent,' but if it was unable to reach agreement, it would miss the deadline.

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