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EU emissions vote postponed – but battle for 30% cuts goes on

June 23 2011 - Today’s crucial vote on whether Europe should commit to deeper emissions cuts was postponed at the last minute until early July, after time for discussion ran out.

The delay came after a last-minute push by campaigners across the UK to win support for the ‘yes’ vote.

Christian Aid supporters have already sent more than 11,000 emails to MEPs urging them to back 30 per cent emissions cuts and demonstrated outside the Newcastle offices of Martin Callanan MEP, the Conservatives’ leader in Europe.

Mr Callanan himself has already received more than 1,500 emails appealing to him to swing his group in favour of stronger action on climate change – and this total is expected to rise sharply in coming days, as thousands more people join the campaign.

Christian Aid also joined with Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam and Green Alliance in a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday, urging him to bring his party’s MEPs back into line with his own backing for 30 per cent cuts in Europe’s emissions by 2020.

Paul Brannen, Head of Advocacy and Influence at Christian Aid, said the fight would now go on to persuade enough MEPs of all parties to vote for 30 per cent cuts from 1990 levels, rather than the 20 per cent currently planned.

‘We are expecting the final vote to be close and so every MEP’s decision counts,’ he said.

‘Thousands more of our supporters will be contacting MEPs over the coming two weeks, explaining why it is so vital to people living in poverty across the world that Europe takes the lead on tackling climate change.

‘There are times when the opportunity to act and change the course of events presents itself. We think this is one of those times and so we are doing all we can to make the case for 30 per cent.’

Mr Brannen added: ‘Poor people are first and worst affected by the devastating effects of climate change and time is running out to prevent climate chaos. It could not be more important for Europe to signal to the rest of the world that it will act to significantly curb its own emissions and that others must follow suit.’

The new European Parliament vote on increasing Europe’s emissions cuts from 20 to 30 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020 is now expected to take place between 5 and 7 July.

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If you would like further information please contact Rachel Baird on 0207 523 2446 or rbaird@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