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EU Climate Chief Seeks Doubling of Global Clean Energy at Rio

European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said countries meeting at a conference in June should pledge to double the share of renewable energy they use by 2030 and give all citizens access to sustainable power.

The nations also need to double the world’s energy efficiency, Hedegaard told reporters today in New Delhi.

World leaders will gather in Rio de Janeiro in June for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20 in policy circles. The first conference in Rio in 1992, known as the Earth Summit, drew 108 heads of state and set up the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to stabilize increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

“If we could have these targets accepted by the whole world in Rio, then we could make a substantial step forward,” Hedegaard said, declining to say whether promises made at the conference should be legally binding.

China and India have clashed with richer nations that are seeking to make the commitments at the conference enforceable. India’s Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said today it will press richer nations to shoulder a larger burden so poorer countries that weren’t responsible for emissions in the past aren’t saddled with measures to combat climate change.

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