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From the Arctic north to the hot Mediterranean south, climate change will have varied impacts. Internationally, the European Union's '20-20-20' targets are at the forefront of global ambition

Blue colored world map: Europe. Credit: John Lamb (Getty)

Europe was the first region to create an industrial society based on fossil fuels and so an early contributor to climate change. But it has also taken an early lead in taking action to combat the problem: for example, the '20-20-20' targets requiring a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions, a 20% improvement in energy efficiency and 20% of power to be generated from renewable sources by 2020.


Canal scene in Bruges, Belgium (iStockphotos)

In Belgium the scale and threat of climate change has led to both the Federal and Regional Governments striving to organise a joint response


Glacial lakes and rocks at national park Pirin in Bulgaria (iStockphotos)

Bulgarian membership of EU has led to an increased public understanding that taking action against climate change requires immediate investment

Czech Republic

Prague at twilight, Czech Republic (iStockphotos)

During their Presidency of the EU, the Czechs worked hard to find a consensus at EU level but, with a new government, it remains to be seen how high up the agenda climate change will be.


Faroe Islands, Denmark (iStockphotos)

Denmark is the world leader on energy efficiency and has proved to the world that you can cut emissions whilst increasing GDP


Eiffel Tower, France (iStockphotos)

An energy law in 2005 set out a 2050 target of a 75% reduction in carbon emissions in France by 2050


Coloured Vineyards in Germany (iStockphotos)

Although Germany is above the European average with per-capita CO2 emissions in excess of 10 tonnes, it is one of the few EU-15 countries in compliance with its Kyoto commitments


Santorini views from famous churches in Greece (iStockphotos)

NGOs and media groups are prominent in pushing the climate agenda and the Greek PM has made public statements over his government's belief that a new agreement will be struck in Copenhagen


Parliment building through some arches in Hungary (iStockphotos)

Political developments around climate change have enjoyed an exceptional degree of consensus in the otherwise highly confrontational Hungarian political scene


Grand canal in Venice, Italy (iStockphotos)

As a major European food producer and manufacturer, the effects of the decisions made in Copenhagen will have a big impact on Italy


Blue Lagoon in Malta (iStockphotos)

Malta is highly vulnerable to a changing climate as rising sea levels are threatening to submerge parts of the islands

The Netherlands

Spring scene of flowers in The Netherlands (iStockphotos)

With over 60% of The Netherlands lying beneath sea-level, the effects of climate change have always been at the forefront of Dutch minds


Symbol of Warsaw, Poland (iStockphotos)

Analysis that has been carried out suggests that in Poland, water, agriculture, soils, will all be vulnerable to the effects of climate change


St. Basil's Cathedral, Russia (iStockphotos)

In Russia, ambitious domestic targets offer the prospect of low carbon economic development and establish favourable conditions for Russia to set a more ambitious emissions reduction target at Copenhagen


Spanish coast in the Summer (iStockphotos)

With a diverse range of climates, Spain faces several threats from the effects of global warming


View of Stockholm in Sweden (iStockphotos)

Sweden will hold the Presidency for the EU during the negotiations at Copenhagen, and is committed to giving a high priority to issues surrounding climate change

4 degree map in Finland

Beautiful sunset on lake in Finland (iStockphotos)

The British Ambassador to Finland, Dr Valerie Caton ,handed over a copy of the 4 Degree Map to the Finnish Minister of Environment, showing the effects of a 4 degree rise in global temperatures.

4 degree map in Norway

View over Bergen city in Norway (iStockphotos)

Norwegian Foreign Secretary Jonas Gahr Støre discusses the 4 degree map.

Elders send climate message to the world

'It's OUR future!' - The Elders enlist their grandchildren's help on climate change (Kate Brooks/The Elders)

The Elders, a group of eminent global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela, have delivered an urgent message to world leaders for a strong Copenahgen deal.

Présent à Copenhague pour l'avenir

Copenhague (Crown Copyright)

Le site du ministère du développement durable sur la Conférence des parties à la Convention-cadre des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques (COP15)


Blog Action Day

Blog Action Day


See you in Copenhagen?

The UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown answers questions from the audience at the Road to Copenhagen launch event (Crown Copyright)

UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, was the first world leader to offer to go to Copenhagen – and urged other leaders to do the same.


Milestones on the road to Copenhagen

December 2009 (iStockphotos)

See what's happening in the lead up to Copenhagen this month


Islanders gain from energy success story

The Island of Samsø in Denmark has a negative carbon footprint and generates revenue thanks to its innovative use of wind power.

Offshore wind farm south of Samsø Island (Samsø Energy Academy)

Read more case studies


Carbon footprinting

Carbon Trust is working with Tesco on the benefits of carbon footprinting

Grocery trolley (iStockphoto)

Read more case studies