EP: Current mitigation efforts “insufficient”, says Climate Change Committee

Nachfolgend wird eine geringfügig veränderte und gekürzte Pressemitteilung des Europäischen Parlaments dokumentiert.

Climate Change Committee MEPs criticise “scientifically unsubstantiated efforts” to discredit studies on the causes and effects of climate change, call for additional research on the impact of biofuels, and warn that current policies will not suffice to stem global warming in the long term, in an interim report on “the scientific facts of climate change” adopted on Tuesday.

Current research shows “the risk of serious impact on our planet if measures are not taken swiftly” to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, says the report.

MEPs warn that existing climate change mitigation policies and related sustainable development practices will be “insufficient to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions over the next decades”. They note that most EU Member States are making “good or even excellent progress” in their efforts to comply with their burden-sharing targets, thus “raising the likelihood that the EU will reach its Kyoto target by 2012”, but warn that they will have to reduce emissions “in a more ambitious way” to meet long-term EU targets.

Global warming „predominantly man-made“

MEPs acknowledge that scientific progress “has always been marked by uncertainties,” but condemn “scientifically unsubstantiated efforts to portray the results of studies into the causes and effects of climate change as doubtful, uncertain or questionable”. The underlying causes of global warming “are predominantly man-made”, they say.

More research needed on biofuels’ environmental impact

The text also calls for “additional research into the impact of the policy of promoting biofuels and their effects on the increase of deforestation, the expansion of cultivated land and world food supplies”.

Next steps

The interim report, drafted by Karl Heinz-Florenz (EPP-ED, DE), addresses only the scientific facts of climate change. Recommendations for the EU’s future integrated climate change policy, for adaptation and mitigation measures, and for Parliament’s position in international negotiations for a post-2012 climate change framework, will be set out in a final report, to be adopted by the end of the committee’s term of office.

The committee’s term of office – in accordance with an earlier (18 February) decision of the plenary – has been extended until February 2009.

On the committee’s behalf, chairman Guido Sacconi (PES, IT), recently asked that the Parliament consider setting up a scheme for offsetting its carbon emissions, particularly those arising from EP delegation visits.

The report, adopted in committee with 36 votes in favour, 4 against and one abstention, is scheduled for a plenary vote during the May session in Strasbourg.

Temporary Committee on Climate Change
In the chair : Guido Sacconi (PES, IT)

REF.: 20080401IPR25443