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Greg Dorey


Part of UK in Hungary

24th November 2010

Focus on climate change

This week we have been focusing on Climate Change again. The subject has gone quieter since the Copenhagen Summit, around this time last year. But the problem is as big – and getting bigger. And the issue is about to be addressed again at the Cancun meeting and will feature prominently on the agendas of the Hungarian and Polish EU Presidencies in 2011.

The Board and Advisers of NGO Climate Strategies came to Budapest for their annual meeting on Tuesday. We have worked with them before on climate and low carbon issues, most recently when they came here in June for a workshop on “Decarbonisation of the Power Sector”. The synergy from combining our governmental and NGO efforts has been extremely valuable in promoting low carbon economic transition and our ambition for climate action. So it was good to engage with them on Monday night at the Embassy before they started their meeting.

A few Climate Strategies colleagues stayed on for a separate workshop on Wednesday on the Central European countries and the EU2020 climate target. National experts and our Embassy colleagues from around the region participated, along with NGOs like Greenpeace and the Regional Environment Centre in Szentendre, Hungary. A key issue here is that Hungary and Poland can play a constructive role by shaping worthwhile initiatives in conjunction with the EU Council Secretariat which they can then take forward as successes under their Presidencies.

Energy security, the move to a low carbon economy and tackling climate change are key priorities for the UK Government. We believe domestically that it is not just right, but also profitable to pursue this approach. It’s essential too for the EU’s prosperity and for its credibility on the international stage. Progress will help us all recover from the economic downturn, but also help us build a sustainable economy too. So we will continue to promote such debates and participate in them. Now is not the time to ease up on Climate Change.