The European Union has decided against offering a unilateral cut of 30% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
The EU, along with all other developed countries, has to file its climate change targets with the United Nations by the end of the month, a deadline agreed at December's Copenhagen summit.
Although France and the UK have been pressing the EU to upgrade its target to a 30% cut compared to 1990 levels, Poland and Italy have led the resistance, calling for the EU to stick to 20%. Environment ministers were split on the issue at a meeting on Sunday (17 January).
Deputy ambassadors from the member states decided yesterday (20 January) that the EU target should be left unchanged at 20%, with an offer to go to 30% if other rich countries make similar efforts.
The European Commission wants one EU-wide target in the UN text, but national governments favour references to individual countries so as to guarantee their legal standing in the UN.
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