The European Commission today released its proposals for an EU stance at the forthcoming Copenhagen United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting.

The document recognises that maritime transport is a large and rapidly growing source of greenhouse gas emissions and that it should now be included in the international climate change framework. It goes on to say that “as part of the Copenhagen agreement the UNFCCC should set targets for reducing the climate impact of [shipping] below 2005 levels by 2020, and significantly below 1990 levels by 2050.”

Today’s agreement by EU leaders on the most contentious aspects of the EU’s planned response to climate change, known as the climate and energy package, has been condemned as a failure by environment groups who are calling for the Parliament to reject it.

Green and development groups described today’s deal on the Effort Sharing law (which sets national emission targets for sectors not included in the EU’s emissions trading) as inconsistent with the EU’s long-standing target of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

Last week´s annual meeting of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission has failed to take the steps necessary to protect high seas deep-water ecosystems and missed the UN General Assembly deadline for introducing protection measures.