José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, has been a leading proponent of strong action against climate change, not only in the 27-nation European Union, but globally. The EU has been in the vanguard, particularly when the executive branch of the US was for eight years a captive to special interests and a politics of regression in most things. “Europe has passed its credibility test,” Barroso said last December.
With Copenhagen looming in just 15 days, and with the eyes of the world already focused on what can be expected to happen – and what should happen – it is not without purpose to hearken back to an article written by President Barroso in September: Edge back from the abyss – It’s time to deliver on climate change. The EU has already committed to a 20% reduction in GHG emissions from 1990 levels by 2020 (along with a 20% share for renewable energy, and a 20% boost to energy efficiency) – and they say they’ll produce a 30% reduction in GHG if others make a similar commitment.
Barroso, among many others, has noted the need to move ahead with speed and determination. He wrote in his article that the draft text for Copenhagen to come out of the UNFCCC talks in Bonn in June was a “…a feast of alternative options…” Barroso said: “If we don’t sort this out, it risks becoming the longest and most global suicide note in history.”
There’s much more to say, obviously, about where we are and where we’re going. For now, see this succinct video from President Barroso.