Climate change is the biggest global challenge mankind is faced with today. Scientific evidence is overwhelming and indisputable. It is no longer contested that climate change will tremendously impact not only the environment, but also health, the economy and the social welfare of Europe’s citizens.
The measures required to halt the effect of climate change are already known: the emission of CO2 and other green house gases must be reduced drastically. In order to achieve this ambitious challenge, patterns of production, consumption and transportation must be altered worldwide. The European Union must lead by example and transform Europe quickly into a low-carbon and green economy.
To avoid devastating impacts of climate change, a binding international agreement to reduce green house gas emissions must be reached. Due to the failure of the COP 15 Conference in Copenhagen, the EU must increase efforts to spearhead the process of convincing partner countries to adopt ambitious national targets and to agree on an international accord. Adopting concrete measures to reduce the EU’s emissions by 30% until 2020 should be a first priority. A fair burden sharing between the developing, emerging and developed economies must be achieved and sufficient finances from public and private sources provided. Not only emission reductions, also the adaptation to the first effects of climate change must be addressed.
Further information and relevant documents:
PES Discussion Paper: Reducing emissions from transport
PES Discussion Paper: Reducing emissions in the agricultural sector
PES Discussion Paper: The development dimension of climate change
PES Initiative on climate change and environment EN
Communication by the European Commission on a post-Copenhagen strategy
White Paper: Adapting to Climate Change by the EU Commission
EU action against climate change, publication by DG Environment
Study on impacts of climate change in Europe, by the EU Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC)
Potential of green jobs, study by the International Labour Institute (ILO)