European Union Welcomes Climate Change Deal

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso hailed an ambitious deal to fight climate change agreed to by the leaders of the EU's 27 Member States as an event of historic importance.

"The leaders of Europe's 27 Member States have agreed to work together to transform Europe into a low-carbon economy; to make a real difference to energy security in Europe; and to make Europe the pioneer in developing tomorrow's technologies," he said.

"This is the fruit of two years of hard work by the Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council. It has shown the European Union at its best: able to take courageous, long-term decisions; to debate problems and find compromises; and to end up with an agreement with teeth – not just a political commitment, but a legally binding text with a guarantee to deliver."

The agreement in Brussels will soon pass into legislation requiring the 27 Member States of the European Union to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, achieve 20 percent energy savings, and ensure that 20 percent of their energy comes from renewable sources.