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Italy and Poland tries to weaken EU's climate goals

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Creative Commons License photo credit: rockcohen

The governments of Italy and Poland are, as I write this, trying to weaken the already weak climate goals that the European Union agreed on in January. Italy and Poland blames their will to inaction against climate change because of the current financial crisis. They argue that they can't afford to implement tough emissions targets on their industrial sector.

This is a fine example of ignorance from these right-wing governments in Europe. The climate package will not worsen the economy for Europe. Instead the plan will create millions of new green jobs, reduce our fuel costs and avert a catastrophe beyond our wildest dreams.

During a summit Nicolas Sarkozy said that they will look for "solutions" for those European countries who have expressed concerns about the climate goals and their economy. "The climate package is so important that we cannot simply drop it, under the pretext of a financial crisis," said Nicolas Sarkozy, who currently holds the EU's rotating presidency.

The European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said that "we are not going to let up on the battle against climate change."

The European Commissioner for energy policy, Andris Piebalgs, wrote on his blog that "this financial crisis should not be an excuse to delay even more our climate and energy package, to promote renewables or to boost our energy efficiency. On the contrary, it has shown us that remedies are always worse than prevention. Therefore we cannot fail to implement the necessary measures to change from a fossil fuel based economy to a low carbon one, because this time citizens will not forgive us."

Fine words indeed, but that doesn't mean there is a reason to sit back and hope for the best. That is why Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, WWF and the Climate Action Network Europe needs your help to let the European Environment Ministers know that "we're all watching them."

"The EU package of climate measures MEPs debated last week is under threat again -- and we need your help before Monday evening (yes, Monday 20 October). Environment Ministers will negotiate the details of the European package on Monday, and we want them to know that we're all watching them. Please visit the
website again, and write to your government minister. (Yes, even if you've been there before. Last time you wrote to your MEPs -- this time it's Environment Ministers.)"

Greenpeace says that "the next days are crucial if we are to get a strong package of measures agreed by December", and that "we must keep the pressure on Europe's leaders now".

Tell your ministers it's time to lead!

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Hopefully Italy and Poland's effort doesn't pick up much momentum. I'm not too worried right now, because Italy and Poland aren't exactly heavy hitters in the EU, but if they are able to find some allies it could be trouble.

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