THE GREENS/EFA IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
PRESS RELEASE – Brussels, 30 October 2006
Climate change and energy –
Stern Report adds economic weight to body of evidence on climate change
The publication of a report by leading UK economist Sir Nicholas Stern on the serious economic threat of climate change today coincides with a key statement by Commission President Barroso on the forthcoming EU ‘energy package’. Commenting on the Stern report, Finnish Green MEP and environment spokesperson Satu Hassi said:
“The Stern report has driven home the extent of the crisis we are facing if climate change is left to progress unchecked. His chilling prediction on the economic cost of climate change, which could create 200 million environmental refugees, adds to the long-existing body of scientific evidence. Climate change has to be the top priority for global leaders, be they politicians or business leaders.
“The EU must continue to give global leadership in responding to this challenge, as part of a comprehensive approach to climate change. At the forthcoming UN conference on climate change in Nairobi, the EU must drive for an agreement between all nations, particularly those currently outside the Kyoto framework, with binding international targets. The EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme must be tightened up and more sectors need to be covered by emissions trading schemes – notably aviation.”
Commenting on the energy response needed to combat climate change and the Commission’s energy package, Green energy spokesman Claude Turmes added:
“Commission President Barroso has rightly acknowledged that the findings of the Stern report make clear that urgent action is needed to combat climate change and that the EU’s energy package, foreseen for next year, will be a key element of this. However, his announcement that the Commission intends to plug coal and nuclear power demonstrate that although it is asking the right questions, the Commission is coming up with the wrong answers.
“Stern has highlighted the massive economic opportunities that can be gained by the EU in taking the lead in combating climate change. However, focusing on trying to clean up dirty energy sources like coal and nuclear, diverts attention and funding from renewables and energy efficiency technologies (both in buildings and in the transport sector), which provide the real answers to the challenges of climate change and sustainable energy.”