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CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME

11 February 2009

EU cities join campaign to cut carbon emissions

Mayors from more than 350 cities across Europe signed an EU climate change agreement Tuesday pledging to cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 20 percent by 2020.

The pact covers urban areas across 23 European Union countries and includes cities like London, Paris and Madrid. Cities in Switzerland, Norway, Ukraine and Turkey have also signed it, and faraway places - like New York; Buenos Aires, Argentina and Christchurch, New Zealand - also backed the initiative.

The European Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, called on the mayors to follow the slogan "think globally, act locally" by encouraging their city dwellers to reduce emissions further.

The EU energy commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, said the plan - called the "Covenant of Mayors" - will affect 80 million Europeans and will save around €8 billion, or $10.4 billion, in energy costs.

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Source: International Herald Tribune

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