European Parliament calls for climate laws

Europe needs to stop talking about climate change and commit to concrete action before international talks are held in Poznan next month.

Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament, was spoke to MEPs and scientific researchers last Wednesday in an effort to push for measures to meet the EU’s future energy demand while combating climate change on a global level.

“Our planet is heading for a dramatic crisis due to human malpractice”, said President Pöttering, adding that the price of inactivity is increasing every day.

Professor Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute at Columbia University expressed support from across the Atlantic, calling for a radical change in technology.

“We are trying to fight climate change with 19th century technology”, was his controversial claim, adding: “most of the technology we need does not yet exist or is not yet at demonstration phase.”

He said that no one really knew the costs of large-scale photovoltaic installations or carbon capture and sequestration and called for the EU and Us to invest at least $30bn in technology development, making the findings of the research freely available to those in the developing world to encourage uptake.

President Pöttering said next year’s climate conference in Copenhagen is the last chance for the international community of states to formulate a comprehensive and binding answer to climate change.

“If we want to convince our partners in the world to participate in a binding global strategy, we have to show concrete results”, he said, pointing to the need for results from the ongoing negotiations on the EU’s climate change package between Parliament, Council and Commission.

Sam Bond

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