Parl Magazine 24.11.2008
We are confronted every week with alarming new evidence of accelerating climate change. Several scientists say that we should actually start to reduce the greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, it is not enough to cut emissions.
As the Rapporteur for the the so called effort-sharing proposal on sharing the non ETS-emissions between the EU member countries, I think that the EU climate package must contribute to the success of the international negotiations. Our actions must be in line with science.
The key issues are, first, reducing emissions at home, instead of offsetting, and, second, the firmness of our commitment to step up from 20% reduction to 30% after the next international climate agreement.
The advice by IPCC is that industrialized countries must reduce their emissions by 25-40% by 2020 compared to 1990, and developing countries by 15-30% compared to business as usual. This would only give the probability of 50 % for keeping the 2°C limit for global warming. These figures do not include any offsetting via CDM for the industrialized countries. Every tonne offset brings us further away from the advice of science, and erodes our credibility.
This is a big challenge for us, but the turn needed in developing countries is even steeper. Therefore the ENVI committee has introduced amendments to guarantee substancial financial help from us to developing countries for their clean energy investments, and also for adaptation.
The CDM/JI quota proposed by the Commission would mean that over 60 % of the EU reduction effort could be offset. The governments are demanding even more. Accepting this would mean a complete U-turn in EU climate policy, which has always stressed domestic reductions.
Concentrating in offsetting is not leadership.
An equally dangerous signal would be a new political debate on the 30% reduction target after the next international agreement. This commitment, agreed by the March 2007 Summit, gave much needed stimulus to international negotiations. Now that we can hope that the USA is joining us in the global climate protection, let us not step backwards.
In 1997 the EU went to Kyoto with an offer, without which the Protocol would never have been signed. Our leadership is equally needed on the road to Copenhagen.