Commission sets out basics for post-2012 climate change strategy

The European Commission has adopted a communication setting out future policies for climate change post-2012 when the first commitment period under the Kyoto protocol ends. It suggests including aviation and maritime transport as sectors in the post-2012 regime.

It also includes a set of proposals designed to structure the first negotiations of the EU with its global partners over climate change policies after this period, opening the door to bring major emitters and rapidly emerging economies on board.

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: Fighting climate change is not a matter of choice but a matter of necessity. We will continue to pressure hard for all of our international partners to come on board. I am convinced that it is still possible to keep to our commitment of limiting temperature increases to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius. What is more, our projections indicate that the costs associated with the post-2012 strategy as outlined today are manageable with our economies.

The main elements recommended for a post-2012 strategy are:

  • Broader international participation in reducing emissions.

    The EU should continue to lead multilateral efforts to address climate change, but identify incentives for other major emitting countries, including developing countries, to come on board.
  • Inclusion of more sectors.
    Notably aviation, maritime transport and forestry since deforestation significantly contributes to rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere in some regions.
  • A push for innovation in the EU to ensure the development of new climate-friendly technologies and the right decisions on long-term investments into the energy, transport and building infrastructure.
  • Continued use of flexible market-based instruments for reducing emissions in the EU and globally, such as the EU ETS.
  • Adaptation policies in the EU and globally, which require more efforts to identify vulnerabilities and to implement measures to increase resilience.

    The EU goal to limit global temperature increases to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels was agreed in 1996. The Kyoto Protocol comes into force next week, the 16th February 2005.

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