December 12, 2008
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso urges heads of state and government not to lose sight of their promises regarding climate change while media is primarily focusing on the economic crisis.
While Poland fears heavy costs created by the emissions reductions and Germany as well as Italy are concerned about their competitiveness of their industry, Barroso stressed at a Friends of Europe ‘VIP Policy Summit’ on 9 October that this crisis should not be used as a pretext to neglect the EU’s ambitions on climate action. The biggest part of the measures in the European Commission package has been agreed on by EU environment and energy ministers. However there are still some delicate issues that need to be tackled.
According to the President “it is a question of credibility. It would be a real mistake for Europe to give the signal that we are watering down our position, after all these years leading the efforts for a global solution, now that others, like the Americans, are coming closer, not yet to where we are, but closer to our position.” He insisted that climate action, energy security and economic growth should be pursued in a mutually supportive way and explained further that “this is the best message we can send to the next U.S. President and to our other very relevant partners. This is the credibility test for Europe, at a time when we see others coming closer to our positions.”