The world climate summit in Cancun ends with the debate far from over. Jo Leinen has followed it closely in Mexico, as head of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee.
Johannes Bahrke, euronews: Mr Leinen, the end means the end of Kyoto, doesn’t it?
Leinen: Yes, the Kyoto Protocol is the big controversy here in Cancun: should there be a second commitment period for the industrialised countries, or a commitment for all countries in the world. That’s the controversy we already had in Copenhagen and we have it again in Cancun. And for the moment there is no solution in sight.
euronews: So there’s been no progress?
Leinen: Like a snail, very tenacious, but it is very disappointing what’s happened here, groups of countries blocking each other. We can’t get closer to worldwide climate protection this way, and we can’t afford to lose more time. Time is short. Decisions must been taken here!
euronews: You’re leading a delegation of 15 MEPs even though the European Parliament has no power over climate matters. What position have you supported in Cancun?
Leinen: Well, we are checking that the European Union keeps its promises. And we are in touch with a lot of representatives from other countries’ parliaments, from Brazil, South Africa, India, for example. The parliaments of this world are trying to push governments to do more to protect the climate.
euronews: What happens now? Must the EU set its goals higher even if international negotiations remain blocked?
Leinen: Yes, we think the climate must be protected in our own interest. This will help us reduce energy imports, and thanks to that we can save money. At the same time we’re going to build a green economy with lots of new jobs. Strategy for Europe has to change so that we’re no longer dependent on someone else’s climate goals, to follow this path in our own interest. It has to happen in the 21st century. The first to start will gain the most in the end.
euronews: Ambitious goals? Yes or no?
Leinen: The European Parliament wants us to raise our emission reduction target to 30% from 20% by 2020. We know we can do this, and it wouldn’t cost a great amount. On the contrary, we can do well out of it. We have the capacities we need, we have the research plans we need, we have industries that want to invest and that need a framework, and that’s why we hope the European Council will take this decision.
euronews: Thanks very much. That was the European Parliament’s Jo Leinen, asking that the EU set the example and fix more ambitious climate change goals unilaterally.