EU exceeded goals, official tells climate change talks

BONN, Germany (Reuters) — The European Union is touting its success in cutting greenhouse gases at United Nations talks on climate change.


An adviser to the Chinese government also suggested that Beijing could cap its soaring emissions in coming years. It would be a big step for the world’s top emitter, which said it needs to burn coal to spur growth.


“The EU will substantially over-achieve” its targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, said Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s climate commissioner.


She said EU cuts by 2020 would be 24.5 percent below 1990 levels, deeper than a minimum 20 percent target, and give a total over-achievement of 5.5 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases.


The climate commission said there was still a “wide gap” between world promises to cut emissions and far deeper cuts needed to keep temperatures below a ceiling agreed by almost 200 nations to avert heat waves, floods, droughts and rising sea levels.


Meanwhile, the United States recently announced that the U.S. power sector would have to cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels as part of regulations that will be the centrepiece of president Barack Obama’s climate change strategy.

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