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Activists claim EU climate change goals too weak

Jerome Hughes

Press TV, Brussels

The cleanup operation continues in Belgium and Germany, the countries worst affected by last week's devastating floods following torrential rainfall. Senior figures from the European Commission have just attended a meeting of EU environment ministers.

Last week the European Commission unveiled plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the 27-nation bloc by 55% over the next nine years. The commission claims it's a matter of life and death.

Environmentalists point to what's happening right now; raging wildfires in parts of the United States and Canada, severe flooding in regions of China, crippling droughts in areas of Iran, recent tornadoes in the Czech Republic.

In order to save the planet, campaigners insist the EU must cooperate with big powers like Russia, China and Iran instead of pushing them away. Official data shows transport accounts for 29% of pollution in the EU but one large ship generates as much carbon dioxide per day as 80,000 cars.

Of course, the aviation industry is another major player and so too is agriculture. Experts say the key is to cut our energy consumption and be more efficient. Environmental groups say the EU needs to move faster and claim the bloc's goals are simply not ambitious enough.

They are demanding that leaders agree on decisive action when they meet at a major UN climate change conference scheduled for October in Glasgow, Scotland.

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