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Podobnik: “The Bali Climate Change Agreement is just the start of the process”

Speaking on behalf of the European Union, the Slovenian Minister for the Environment and Spatial Planning, Mr Janez Podobnik, addressed participants at the UN thematic debate on climate change in New York on 12 February 2008. The debate was aimed at developing a joint world vision on action to be taken against climate change.

According to the data of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, greenhouse gas emissions increased by 70% in the period 1970-2004, thus posing a serious threat to humankind and the Earth. At last December's Bali climate conference, global agreement was reached on taking joint action against climate change. This is just the start of a process in which all the countries of the world will cooperate. Speaking at the UN Panel in New York, Mr Podobnik pointed out that, although the Bali Action Plan is an important achievement, it is still only a general agreement in principle and it needs to be upgraded in 2008 and 2009 into a single effective body of actions. Political will is an essential precondition. To be genuinely successful, however, knowledge and finance from various sources need to be linked up, cooperation between public and private sectors enhanced and financial mechanisms adapted in such a way that climate change will not only not pose a threat to mankind but will also provide an opportunity for a new impetus to development.

In 2007, the European Union undertook to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum 20% by 2020. At the beginning of 2008, the EU showed how seriously it took its commitments by proposing  the energy and climate change legislative package. In its efforts against climate change, the European Union is prepared to take even more decisive action if the other countries of the world are willing to follow.


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Date: 15.02.2008