New York

23 October 2014

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the European Union’s decision for reducing greenhouse gas emissions

The Secretary-General strongly commends the decision of the European Commission to set a new target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent from 1990 levels by 2030. The decision demonstrates the continued global leadership of the European Union on taking bold action to address climate change.

Today, EU leaders have once again placed Europe in a leading position with an ambitious emissions reduction target. He congratulates European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard for their vision, leadership and commitment, which made this positive outcome possible.

In adopting this target, the EU has shown that addressing global climate needs is in its own long-term interest. The decision will lead to tangible and significant contributions towards our collective effort to keep temperature rise to less than two degrees Celsius this century. The decision will also set a new standard for climate ambition for all countries in support of the upcoming global negotiations.

The Secretary-General urges all countries to act swiftly and boldly on climate change and to make every effort to reach an ambitious climate agreement by the end of 2015.