BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union has a vital leadership role to play in fighting climate change, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said on Wednesday on the eve of an EU summit set to adopt new targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
“I’m trying to get my country to change its policies, but in the meantime the European Union is absolutely key to helping the world make the change it must,” Gore told reporters after addressing a conference on biofuels.
EU leaders meeting on Thursday and Friday are expected to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming by 20 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels and 30 percent if other industrialized and emerging nations join in.
Those targets will form the basis of the EU’s negotiating position for an international agreement to extend the Kyoto Protocol on climate change past 2012.
Gore’s film on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth,” won an Oscar for best documentary and the British government announced it will distribute the film to all secondary schools in England as part of an information pack.
The European Union produces about 14 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions while the United States, the world’s largest polluter, produces some 25 percent.