BRUSSELS, Oct.24, Xinhua - Leaders of the European Union (EU) agreed early Friday to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 on the basis of 1990 levels, as part of the EU's newly adopted 2030 climate and energy policy framework at an EU summit.

The framework also requires member states to achieve targets of at least 27 percent of renewable energy in total energy consumption by 2030, plus an increase of at least 27 percent in energy efficiency.

"It sets Europe on an ambitious yet cost-effective climate and energy path. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of mankind. Ultimately, this is about survival," said European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

He also said the deal would allow the EU "to bring a positive message to the international climate negotiations -- a message of commitment."

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso praised that the deal "is good for Europe's competitiveness because it keeps us on the path towards a low carbon economy and green growth", as well as "vital for our energy security."

But the targets were undeniably compromised as the European Commission initially proposed a new energy saving target of 30 percent by 2030. The 27 percent result is seen as a compromise against the backdrop of oppositions from some of the member states.

Media reports before and during the summit said that some coal-reliant member states held different views towards the framework as they were afraid that it would hurt their economies.

The framework also attached great importance to the establishment of a fully functioning and connected internal energy market. Therefore, the EU decided to take measures to ensure achieving a minimum target of 10 percent of existing electricity interconnections.

Energy security was also highlighted in the framework as the EU urgently hoped to reduce its energy dependence and increase its energy security for both electricity and gas.

Effective means recognized by the EU includes development of indigenous resources as well as safe and sustainable low carbon technologies.

The EU also agreed to establish a reliable and transparent governance system without any unnecessary administrative burden to help ensure that the EU meets its energy policy goals, with the necessary flexibility for member states and fully respecting their freedom to determine their energy mix.

VIENNA, Oct. 23, Xinhua - Climate change will lead to a sharp decline of common species of birds in Europe, ecologists attending a meeting on birdlife here warned on Thursday.

About 2.3 million breeding birds, such as the blackbirds, wrens, and chiffchaffs, could disappear in Germany alone by 2050 due to climate change, Thomas Gottschalk from the University of Applied Forest Sciences, who was here attending the BirdLife Fall Conference, told the Austria Press Agency in an interview.

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BRUSSELS, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- European Union (EU) leaders met on Thursday for a two-day summit on the EU's 2030 climate change targets.

10.24 EU_summit_kicks_off_with_focus_on_climate_deal

British Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at the European Council headquarters ahead of the European Union (EU) summit in Brussels, Belgium, October 23, 2014. (Xinhua/Gong Bing)

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Oct. 23, Xinhua - Brunei Darussalam hosted the National Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) Seminar under the ASEANRepublic of Korea Forest Cooperation (AFoCo) Project on Thursday.

The seminar is themed "Capacity Building on Improving Forest Resources Assessment and Enhancing the involvement of the Local Communities to Address the Adverse Impact of Climate Change".

Brunei acknowledges the significance of accurate forestry information in the development of effective national legislation, policies and management strategies for sustainable forest management.

The role and active participation from forestry stakeholders is also a necessity in generating relevant forestry information. Thus, the aim of the seminar is to create awareness on forest resources assessment and its importance, explore capacity, capability, and technology development on forest resources assessment for Brunei Darussalam as well as the current trends in FRA.

The national seminar intends to share information on FRA and its related activities to Brunei forestry stakeholders and policy makers, to obtain information about local support in the assessment of forest resources, and to find out the capability, capacity and technology development of forest resources assessment for Brunei.

The seminar is attended by resource persons from Korea University, Bogor Agricultural University, Brunei Survey Department and Brunei Forestry Department.

GUIYANG, July 11, Xinhua - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Friday that China has designated ecological and environmental protection as a key area in opening up to the outside world.

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