The agreement reached at UN climate talks in Durban is a breakthrough that must be followed by firm action, says Jo Leinen (S&D, DE), Chair of the EU Parliament delegation to the summit (COP 17).

He commented, “The world has achieved a major breakthrough in the fight against climate change. The EU deserves credit for drawing up a roadmap for all nations to respond to their relative responsibilities.

The successful talks must now lead to effective action. There is still a gigatonne gap between the emission-reduction measures that have been promised and those that are needed. If an international deal will only take effect in 2020, the agreed target to limit warming to two degrees will be in serious danger.”

“The world’s poorest will be hardest hit by climate change and it is highly symbolic that agreement is reached in Africa. The Green Climate Fund must play a vital role once it filled through firm commitments and innovative sources, such as a financial transactions tax.”

The EU and all major economies must now play their part. It is more important than ever that Europe takes the lead in the green technology race and works towards a low-carbon economy.”

Karl-Heinz Florenz (EPP, DE), Vice-Chair of the EU Parliament delegation, added:

“The EU’s climate diplomacy has worked.  The world has changed and it is right to define developing and developed countries according to the new realities. I welcome that China has shown it wants to take on new responsibilities and play a new role in the world. We all need to intensify our efforts because much remains to be done.”