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Campaigners vow to continue fight for tougher EU carbon cuts

July 5 2011 - Christian Aid activists vowed today to continue fighting for tougher European action on climate change after MEPs rejected a plan to increase carbon emission cuts.

A group of Conservative MEPs defying the UK government were among those rejecting the proposal to support raising the level of emission cuts from 20 per cent to 30 per cent by 2020.

They also ignored intense lobbying by activists, including nearly 3,000 Christian Aid supporters which included an email and social network campaign and street protests outside the offices of some MEPs. 

Paul Brannen, Christian Aid’s Head of Advocacy and Influence, said: ‘We knew the vote in Strasbourg would be close but we are particularly disappointed that British MEPs voted against their own government on the issue.

‘There are overwhelming scientific, political and moral reasons for increasing the curbs on greenhouse gases.

‘The vote is bad news for people living in poverty around the world, who at present bear the brunt of climate change.’

‘But the vote  is non binding and not the final say on the matter. The ball is now in the court of the European leaders to make the right decision. European countries must introduce cuts of 30 per cent as an absolute minimum to tackle the climate crisis, and allow the EU to play a leadership role in the international climate negotiations in Durban at the end of the year.

‘Campaigners will now redouble their efforts to show ministers the necessity of moving to that figure.’

Christian Aid, Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF and Green Alliance, also wrote jointly to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to bring the Conservative MEPs into line with the Government’s support for the proposal.

‘On an issue as urgent as climate change, MEPs should adhere to policies agreed to by the elected government of Great Britain and not seek to undermine them. David Cameron must now work to ensure such a rebellion doesn’t happen again’ added Mr Brannen.

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Further information from Andrew Hogg on 0207 523 2058 or ahogg@christian-aid.org

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together inhumanitarian assistance and development.  Further details at http://www.actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit www.christianaid.org.uk