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EU plans a 'positive signal' for climate deal

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres hailed the European Commission's 2030 plans for carbon cuts on Wednesday as "a positive signal" for a "meaningful" global deal on climate.

"EU on track by recommending Europe-wide 40% emissions cut target by 2030," Figueres, head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said on Twitter. "Positive signal for meaningful 2015 agreement."

UN members have vowed to conclude a worldwide pact on climate change at a conference in Paris in December 2015 that will take effect from 2020.

The deal will seek curbs on greenhouse-gas emissions to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels.

It will also channel billions of dollars in aid to poor countries exposed to worsening drought, flood, storms and rising seas.

But talks have been making negligible progress, hampered by rows between rich and poorer countries -- and within those two groups -- over burden sharing.

The European Union's executive earlier Wednesday said member states should cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 40 percent by 2030 compared to a benchmark year of 1990.

Member states should also ensure that renewables count for 27 percent of their energy mix by the same date, it said.

The package replaces a 2020 programme that set a CO2 reduction target of 20 percent over 1990 levels, coupled with a 20-percent share for renewables.

The 2030 targets set by the Commission have to be approved by all 28 member states to enter into law.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140122/eu-plans-positive-signal-climate-deal