13 Dec 2008

EU leaders reach new climate deal

7:37 am on 13 December 2008

European Union leaders have reached a deal on a package of measures to fight global warming.

The plan, agreed at a Brussels summit, sets out how 27 member-countries will cut carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, compared with 1990 levels.

The measures require approval by the European Parliament to become law.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said something "quite historic" had happened in Brussels.

But critics say concessions made to some nations and sectors will lessen the long-term impact of the package.

Scientists say carbon dioxide emissions need to be cut by 25-40% by 2020 for there to be a reasonable chance of avoiding dangerous climate change.

The so-called "20/20/20" package tackles climate change and concessions to limit its impact on struggling industries.

The measures commit the EU to cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20% by 2020.

It must also raise renewable sources to 20% of total energy use and achieve a 20% cut in energy use.

But critics say the package does not go far enough.