Brussels, 16 October 2008 - European leaders have today pledged to press ahead with their planned response to climate change, despite attempts by some EU member states to scupper the measures in order to protect polluting industry, say Climate Action Network Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace and WWF.
During the EU summit, Poland and Italy threatened to veto crucial measures to curb CO2 emissions and reduce European dependency on fossil fuels. But at the end of two days of heated talks in Brussels, EU leaders confirmed their commitment to finalise the climate and energy package before international climate negotiations take place in December. However, last minute changes weakening the final document have been made.
Environmental groups reiterated that the proposals must not be weakened by countries seeking to protect a small part of their industries and warned that European citizens will hold EU leaders to their promises when it's time to go to the ballot box.
Reacting to the conclusions Climate Action Network Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace and WWF said: "EU leaders have resisted attempts by countries who wanted to put short-term interests of some polluting industries above the long-term interests of the environment, economy and people.
"Frantic efforts to derail EU climate action by Poland and Italy have been ignored so far. The French President Sarkozy must stand up to countries like Italy which has made no effort whatsoever to comply with the Kyoto Protocol and implement decent climate policies.
"Environment Ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday must live up to their responsibilities and deliver a strong response to climate change."