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Greenpeace Urges EU Summit to Boost Climate Commitments

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Greenpeace protesters Thursday urged European Union summit to boost their climate commitments for a successful UN climate conference in Copenhagen.

Eleven activists traveling in a three-vehicle convoy drove up to the European Council VIP entrance during access by member states' government delegations to bring the message home.

While some protesters stepped out onto the red carpet used by member states' presidents and prime ministers to read a statement, others unfurled banners reading "EU Save Copenhagen."

"Greenpeace calls on European heads of state to help secure the strongest possible agreement on climate change in Copenhagen," a protester read from a statement before being removed by security officers.

"We're calling on Europe's leaders to use the EU summit as an opportunity to increase their commitment on greenhouse gas emissions," the statement said.

Greenpeace called the EU to "move from their current agreement of a 20 percent cut of greenhouse gases to 30 percent compared with 1990 levels.

"This would then pave the way for an agreement in Copenhagen that would push industrialized countries to a scientifically sound 40 percent reduction target," it added.

The environmental group said that with the EU's reluctance to move, "rich countries such as Japan and Norway have made commitments for 25 percent and 40 percent emission cuts."

"Developing countries such as China, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa have also announced ambitious climate action," it noted.

It said that the EU has an opportunity to inject momentum into the climate talks and trigger real change in the US position.

"A step forward by the EU might well tip the balance and lead to a legally binding deal in time for Christmas," it concluded.

The 27-nation bloc is gathering in Brussels for a two-day summit to discuss climate change and economic affairs.

The EU has made conditional commitments, insisting that it is ready to increase its pledge of emissions cut from 20 to 30 percent if other developed states follow suit.

(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2009)