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EU Agrees on Climate Change Legislation


European Union countries wrapped up a two-day summit in Brussels Friday agreeing to forge laws to meet climate change goals and create a new union that would group the European Union and Mediterranean countries outside the bloc. Lisa Bryant in Paris has more on the meeting.

The 27 European Union leaders vowed to agree on legislation to implement goals to fight climate change, which include cutting greenhouse emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels over the next 12 years. But the leaders at the Brussels summit also said they would seek climate-friendly options that would not sanction European industries.

Prime Minister Janez Jansa of Slovenia, whose country holds the rotating E.U. presidency, told reporters the climate agreement offered the E.U. the opportunity to adopt technologies for the future. "The climate energy package will be a key document to do so, we discussed this package at this meeting as well. We talked about the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century for the union," she said.

The E.U. leaders also agreed to an amended version of a new Mediterranean union proposed last year by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Under the compromise, all the E.U. members would be involved in the union aimed to forge closer ties with North Africa, Arab and other non-European Mediterranean countries.

Still, not all members are happy about either agreement. Some E.U. members oppose a new agreement on a Mediterranean union, since one -- known as the Barcelona Process -- already exists. There is also disagreement over whether to offer special conditions to big energy users when it comes to climate change regulations.

Still Mr. Sarkozy, whose country takes over the E.U. presidency in July, said he hoped agreement on the climate change package would be reached by the second half of this year.

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