EU makes 'historic decision' on emissions

Feb. 20, 2007 at 4:16 PM

BRUSSELS, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- European environment ministers called Tuesday for a 20 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by EU member states by 2020.

Overall, the ministers want developed countries to cut emissions by 30 percent, the EU Observer reported.

Sigmar Gabriel, the German environment minister, hailed the action as a "historic decision." He said the vote makes a binding commitment for an overall emissions cut of 20 percent from 1990 levels but the union must now decide how to split the cut among member states.

"Different member states can achieve different targets, it depends on the economic situation in the country," Gabriel said.

Gabriel said that while the EU called for an overall 30 percent reduction, the ministers limited the European commitment to 20 percent because 30 percent would be too difficult for the European states to achieve on their own.

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