EU takes up mantle for climate policies

June 25, 2013 at 7:45 AM

BRUSSELS, June 25 (UPI) -- Members of the European Union will be the international "trailblazers" in terms of climate and renewable energy goals, the European Commission president said.

EC President Jose Manuel Barroso said from Brussels the 27 members of the European Union took their responsibility to environmental stewardship seriously.

Green goals 2020 call for a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 20 percent increase in renewable energy use, based on a benchmark set in the 1990s.

Barroso said creating the conditions for a sustainable economy that grows while keeping climate change at bay through the use of renewable energy is "at the heart of European policies."

"Of course, the road to victory remains bumpy," he said in a statement Monday. "Energy and climate policies need both constant support, and strong new visions."

Ongoing economic crises in the eurozone have complicated EU efforts to meet the 2020 benchmarks. Barroso said, however, new goals for 2030 would be proposed by the end of the year.

"On the international scene, the European Union will remain a trailblazer for a binding global climate agreement," he said.

World leaders have been unable to find a common climate policy in part because of differences over commitments from developing and developed economies.

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