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EU: Barroso challenges Sarkozy to ensure emissions targets adopted

   LONDON, February 27, 2008 – European Commission President Jose Manuel
Barroso challenged French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country will hold
the rotating EU presidency from July, to ensure that targets to combat climate
change are adopted, in an interview published Wednesday.
   Speaking to the Financial Times from Svalbard, Norway, Barroso said: "I
have no doubts about the commitment of Mr Sarkozy. It will be his
responsibility to get agreement among all member states: he will be chairman
(of meetings where the targets are discussed)."
   The targets call for the 27-nation bloc to cut carbon emissions by 20
percent, improve energy efficiency by 20 percent, and generate 20 percent of
energy from renewable sources, all by 2020.
   "There are some negotiations going on but I am completely confident that at
the end we will get agreement," Barroso told the business daily.
   "The EU leaders unanimously approved (the proposed targets) and it will be
respected — if not, it will be a blow to our credibility."