B Explanatory memorandum, by Mr Alan
1 Global warming increasingly continues to cause ecological
disasters with disastrous effects on the natural and human environment
worldwide. Every natural system is currently being affected (for
example, water resources, seas/oceans, air, ecosystems, human health),
causing severe consequences for agriculture and territorial communities.
According to the International Panel on Climate ChangeNote
warming of the climate system is unequivocal. Direct observations
of increases in global average (air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting
snow and ice, rapid increases in areas of desertification and rising
sea-levels) show that the past twelve years have been the hottest
on record since 1850.
The United Kingdom Met Office Hadley CentreNote
forecast that 2007 will be the warmest year on record due to increasing
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, responsible for heating of the atmosphere
and for the El Nino effect – that is, the arrival of unusually warm
waters off the north-western coast of South America leading to increased
rainfall, storm activity and flooding in the Americas (especially
the south-western United States and Peru) and drought conditions
in Australia and other areas in the western Pacific and the Indian Ocean.
4 The greenhouse effect is not exactly new, but 4 billion years
old. GHGs absorb infra-red radiation (for example, the heat reflected
from the earth), without which the temperature of the earth would
be -18°C. Carbon dioxide (CO2) acts as a thermostat mechanism: when
the earth cools, less water will evaporate, it will rain less, and
less CO2 will be removed from the atmosphere. Conversely, when the
earth is hotter, more rain falls in order to remove CO2 from the
5 Today, however, the phenomenon is greatly linked to human
activities. For example, every time we switch on a light, use a
computer, watch television or travel by any form of motorised transport,
we generate CO2, the principal contributor to global warming.
6 Among the GHGs, CO2 – principally produced by fossil fuel
burning, wood fuel, land-use change and cement manufacture – contributes
to global warming at a rate of 55%. The other two main contributors
are methane (coming from gas/oil/coal production, the bowels of
ruminants, wetland rice cultivation, landfill waste, burning and
decay of biomass) contributing 15%, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs,
from solvents, refrigerants and aerosols) contributing 24%. Also
nitrous oxide (N2O, from fertilisers, fossil fuel burning, deforestation
and agriculture), nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and non-methane
hydrocarbons cause global warming in minor proportions.
7 History reveals that as far as back as 1896, Svante Arrhenius
first established a quantitative link between CO2 and climate, predicting
that the doubling of the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere would
produce a rise in temperatures of between 5°C and 6°C. The first
actual widespread scientific monitoring began in the 1960s, when
a consensus that human activities increased the temperature by between
0.3°C and 0.6°C was compounded by the shock discovery of the “ozone
hole”. In 1990, the CO2 concentration was assessed as 30% above
8 The prediction for the year 2050 does not seem so remote from
the one made by Arrhenius: model estimate range of carbon emissions
between 20 Gt and 2 Gt per year, which would mean, in the worst
scenario, a doubling of pre-industrial carbon concentration by 2050.
According to UNEP projections, warming in this century will be between
1.4°C and 5.8°C, which is about the same increase in temperature
as that since the last glacial era, but 100 times more rapid.
2 Global warming and ecological disasters
As we are all aware, global warming is affecting
regions in different ways: some human-induced factors that affect
climate are global in nature, while others differ from one region
to another. For instance, although CO2 is distributed evenly around
the globe, regardless of where the emissions originate, sulphate
aerosols that offset some of the warming tend to be regional in
their distribution. We can identify some of the criteria that can help
us to understand the projected impacts of global warming. For instance:
- latitude indicates that the
amount of projected warming generally increases from the tropics
to the poles;
- precipitation, also latitude-dependent, is likely to increase
in circumpolar regions, while it is going to decrease in regions
near the tropics;
- the location of oceans and mountain ranges is also an
important factor, because according to projections the interior
of continents will warm up more than the coastal areas;
- the most difficult aspect to assess is the circulation
of the atmosphere and the oceans, and their patterns of variability.
10 Global warming-led ecological disasters will thus impact differently,
in terms of scale and target, on the regions of the earth as specific
country vulnerabilities may aggravate the consequences. There are
several areas of vulnerability in case of disaster, which influence
the capacity to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover after
a catastrophe. The areas of vulnerability are poverty and marginalisation,
social instability and conflict, population growth, coastal and
flood plain settlement, rapid and unplanned organisation, overloaded infrastructure
and environmental degradation, which inevitably mean that it is
the poorest countries that are the most vulnerable and least capable
11 Some impacts, however, are expected to produce benefits in
some places and some sectors of agriculture.
2.1 Projections for EuropeNote
12 Europe is warming more quickly than the rest of the
world, with a 0.95°C increase since 1900. These temperatures increase
more in winter than in summer.
The changes, recorded at different levels, show that these
are deviant from possible exceptions. Among the changes we can highlight:
- European air temperature: over
the past one hundred years, it has warmed 0.95°C over a global average of
between 0.2°C and 0.7°C;
- precipitation: annual trends in Europe for the period
1900-2000 show a contrasting picture between northern Europe (10%
to 40% wetter) and southern Europe (up to 20% drier);
- weather extremes: in the past one hundred years the number
of cold and frost days has decreased in most parts of Europe, whereas
the number of days with temperatures above 25°C and of heatwaves
- glaciers: eight out of nine European glacier regions are
in retreat, which is consistent with the global trend. From 1850
to 1980, glaciers in the European Alps lost approximately one third
of their area and one half of their mass. Since 1980, another 20%
to 30% of the remaining ice has been lost. Current glacier retreat
in the Alps is reaching levels exceeding those of the past five
- snow cover: the northern hemisphere’s annual snow cover
extent has decreased by about 10% since 1966. The snow cover period
in the northern hemisphere shortened by a rate of 8.8 days between
1971 and 1994;
- sea-level rises: sea-levels around Europe increased by
between 0.8 mm/year and 3 mm/year in the last century;
- sea surface temperature: since the late 19th century the
global average sea surface temperature has increased by 0.6°C, consistent
with the increase in global air and temperature. The Baltic, the
North Sea and the Mediterranean show a slight warming over the past
fifteen years of about 0.5°C;
- plant species composition: climate over the past three
decades has resulted in decreases in plant species across Europe,
and many species migrated northwards.
14 The past pan-European weather extremes have been another important
sign that man-made global warming is happening and further proceeding.
It is possible to make reference to some catastrophic events
that are closely linked to climate change:
- Europe, 2003: a heatwave killed 33 000 people in Europe
and caused €13 billion of damages. It also caused tremendous forest
fires in the south of Europe that destroyed large ecosystems with
serious effects on the tourism sector. The extremely hot weather
produced unprecedented melting in the alpine areas which also reduced
the glaciers by one tenth. The summer of 2003 was the hottest in
five hundred years;
- Italy, August 2004: freak weather caused the collapse
of some of the most famous peaks in the Italian Dolomites. The erosion
process was accelerated by a summer of unusually violent storms
and an unseasonably cold and snowy winter;
- northern Europe, 2005: countries across northern Europe
face the fiercest storm in forty years, leaving hundreds of thousands
homes in Scandinavia, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, without power.
Northern Britain was also hit by the storm and experiences the worst
flooding in decades;
- Romania, 2005: most severe flooding in forty years followed
by further flooding some months later, damaging 35 000 farms and
houses to the value of €1 billion.
16 Published at the end of the warmest winter on record for Europe,
the 4th IPCC Assessment Report (“Climate change 2007”) confirms
that in the European region many of the early impacts of climate
change are already being witnessed.
Predictions to date forecast the following trends for Europe’s
- European average temperature:
from 1990 to 2100, while the global average temperature is projected to
increase by between 1.4°C and 5.8°C, the temperature of Europe will
increase by between 2°C and 6.3°C. Stronger warming in northern
Europe in winter, making extremely cold winters disappear by 2080. Further
and more intense warming in summer will take place in the Mediterranean
- precipitation: projections for Europe show a 1% to 2%
increase per decade in annual precipitation in most of northern
Europe and up to 1% per decade decrease in Mediterranean Europe
(in summer, decreases of 5% per decade may occur);
- precipitation and agriculture: milder and wetter climates
in the north, with the benefit of agriculture signifying a shift
northward of agricultural production at the highest latitudes but
leading to rising sea-levels and land loss in other parts;
- droughts: warmer, drier and drought-prone climate in southern
Europe, already hot and semi-arid conditions expected, causing extremely
severe water shortages that will threaten livelihoods and result in
biodiversity loss, and increasing forest fires;
- retraction of glaciers: precipitation as rain instead
of snow in current snow-covered areas in winter, thereby producing
a reduction of snow depth of between 20% and 30%, a shortening of
the snow season, with considerable losses for tourism;
- snow cover: in a long-term scenario, European glaciers
will continue to disappear (in some areas by up to 60% under high
emission scenarios, by 2080). This will further worsen the drought
in the summer season, when the expected snow meltwater will decrease;
- temperatures and precipitation extremes: transport of
water vapour from low to high latitudes will increase the risk of
cyclone-induced flooding (namely the flooding in central Europe
in August 2002), heatwaves (that is to say the 2003 summer heatwave
that caused 15 000 additional deaths in France alone), forest fires
and spread of what were formerly tropical diseases (for example,
malaria). Increases by up to 25% in storm activity in central and
western Europe, for those countries near the Atlantic Ocean;
- sea-level rise: the projected rate of sea-level rise between
1990 and 2100 is 2.2 to 4.4 times higher than the rate in the 20th
century, and sea-level is projected to continue to rise for centuries;
- sea surface temperature: it is very likely that the seas
will warm less than the land. By 2100 global sea surface temperature
is projected to increase by between 1.1°C and 4.6°C compared to
- plant species composition: there will be a further migration
of plant species northwards and a large number of species might
become extinct under future climate change.
18 All theses developments have a direct impact on human health
and security and will affect the whole of Europe.
19 However, Europe’s sensitivity to global warming is forecast
differently for the northern and the southern areas of Europe, and
the latter are more likely to be affected than the former
20 Changes are happening at such a pace that Europeans must put
in place as quickly as possible strategies to adapt to an unfamiliar
climate. The sustainable target set for Europe is to limit the temperature rise
to 2°C above the pre-industrial levels. However, this target is
likely to be exceeded by 2050.
2.2 Projections for the Arctic region
21 The Arctic is the region of greatest concern. It
is warming twice as fast as the global average, and many of the
effects on the Arctic will produce severe consequences elsewhere
on the planet. In this connection, the rapporteur wishes to draw
attention to the Assembly report on the specific situation of the
environment in the Arctic region (rapporteur: Mr Vladimir Grachev),
jointly debated with the present report.
22 Since 1980, 20% to 30% of the sea ice in the European Arctic
has been lost. Indeed, the area of the Arctic Ocean covered by ice
has been shrinking each summer, and the remaining ice is thinning.
Because more heat is absorbed by the sea than by ice, a feedback
is being created which, in turn, results in further melting.
23 In addition, a 20% to 35% thaw of the Arctic permafrost by
the mid-21st century is predicted, which is likely to have implications
for local communities’ infrastructures, economy and housing, entailing,
in the worst scenario, the costly relocation of populations. As
to the economic impacts of global warming, both ends of the spectrum
will be affected. For example, international oil corporations and
the Inuit hunter communities will be affected, with pipeline infrastructure
most likely being damaged and the decreasing ice stability making
it necessary to find new hunting routes. Moreover, the thawing of
the permafrost will mean an extremely severe risk for those areas
where toxic materials are stored and contained in the frozen ground
(namely methane deposits).
24 Furthermore, the combination of temperatures increasing by
3°C, reduced sea ice and thawing permafrost will mean three to five
metres more erosion in western Siberia. Moreover, 10% to 50% of
the Arctic tundra could be replaced by forests by 2100, while the
narrow strips of tundra in the Russian European Arctic are likely
25 Nevertheless, some might consider that certain impacts of
climate change may improve human well-being because, for instance,
opportunities for agriculture and forestry could increase in some
areas. Receding sea ice will be likely to open up the Arctic to
more shipping, oil and gas exploration and fisheries. However, what
needs to be remembered is that Arctic communities’ and indigenous
peoples’ livelihoods are intimately linked to their existing environment,
and the above-mentioned advantages might turn out to be disappointing because
of the arrival of new pests and diseases and changes in estuary
and marine biodiversity because of the impact of global warming.
26 Finally, the complete melting of the Greenland ice sheet and
the west Antarctic sheet would lead to a sealevel rise of up to
seven metres and five metres respectively. Therefore, it is important
to highlight the effect that the thawing of the permafrost will
have worldwide and in particular for northern European nations as
well as the Pacific island countries.
2.3 Water shortages and agriculture
27 Many of the worst effects will hit those countries
that have contributed least to global warming: for example, the
least developing countries of Africa, South-East Asia and the Pacific
islands. Not only are these countries the smallest contributors
to carbon emissions, they are also the most vulnerable as they very
often lack the economic, social, technical and environmental means
to gain adaptive capacity.
28 It is forecast that by 2020 in Africa, between 75 and 200
million people will be exposed to an increase in water stress due
to climate change. If extended to the whole world, this figure rises
to between 1 and 3.5 billion people in 2080 – that is one third
of the world population (data from Christian Aid).
29 Deserts will also be subject to growing pressure in the coming
years: the changes in precipitation and temperature patterns will
irreversibly affect water regimes, and thus worsen moisture deficits,
droughts, erosion and patchiness of desert ecosystems. In this respect,
it has been estimated that desertification is likely to increase
by 25% by the year 2025. Indeed, even deserts fed by snow or ice,
such as those of central Asia and the Andean foothills, will be
affected, because the snow pack will diminish with a resultant decline
in water run-off
30 Seawater intrusion into groundwater caused by sea-level rises
may also further damage underground aquifers, forcing increased
investments in desalination. These water shortages with their effects
on agricultural and industrial potential would therefore severely
affect the development potential of many areas.
31 Needless to say, for most of the least developed countries,
this will lead to increased food shortages due to declining agricultural
production and compromised fisheries, further aggravating the vulnerability
of the local populations.
32 As far as the Pacific islands are concerned, as stated earlier,
the most noticeable effect is going to be the unprecedented sea-level
rise resulting in increased vulnerability for the 2 to 7 million
people who will be affected, via their agricultural lands, tourism
and infrastructures. Under the worst case scenario of one metre sea-level
rise, studies show that flooding, erosion and intrusion of seawater
into aquifers would be the likely impacts with both an economic
and a social cost exceeding the possibilities of these countries.
Furthermore, this scenario would be aggravated by the shifts in
rainfall regimes (according to which there will be an increase in
rainfall in the north-east Pacific, while the south-west will face
a decrease in precipitation) and by the increase in the frequency
and intensity of cyclone phenomena.
33 Therefore, for many low-lying islands, the effects of global
warming would mean that their very survival is at risk, such as
Tuvalu, which will probably become totally uninhabitable because
of the higher sea levels.
34 Aggravation of the extreme climate in deserts and the risk
of low-lying islands sinking confront us with the daunting issue
of ecological refugees. According to the NGO Christian Aid, which
published a report entitled “Human tide in May 2007, the real migration
crisis”, if no effective measures to combat climate change are taken,
in 2050 there will be one billion refugees directly due to the effects
of global warming. It is hard to imagine the social and economic
tensions that would stem from the displacement and relocation of
one billion people on our small planet. The process has indeed already
begun with ecological refugees already fleeing Tuvalu, which since
2002 has faced increasing saltwater intrusion, cyclones, droughts
and coastal erosion. These people displaced for environmental reasons
have been so far rejected by some neighbouring countries, such as
Australia, and are compared to illegal asylum seekers. In contrast,
other neighbours, notably New Zealand, have responded in a more
sensible and humanitarian way.
35 For years, early intervention against the greenhouse effect
was postponed by the fact that the causes were known but uncertainties
still surrounded the causal link between GHG and environmental disruptions. There
also remained to be established the extent of possible ecological
disasters, because the climate models and projections were unreliable.
Improvements in data sets and analysis were made, allowing a broader geographical
coverage and a better understanding of the outstanding uncertainties.
Today, however, one can talk about facts rather than climate model
projections as many effects are already visible.
36 Quoting Keith Allot, Head of the World Wide Fund for Nature’s
(WWF) Climate change programme, “there is no time left for procrastination.
Climate change is right here, right now and it is killing people
and wiping out the very biodiversity that sustains us all. The science
tells us that the effects of climate change are already being felt
both at a regional and global level – and it’s going to be a lot
worse. This is a global emergency and we need an urgent global response
… One reason that climate crisis is not being tackled with the urgency
it demands is that to most people’s eyes it seems to be happening
in slow motion.”
3.1 Mitigation versus adaptation
37 Mitigation activities are used as a tool that can
help to prevent or reduce the environmental, human and economic
impacts of a catastrophic event. Such a concept raises the question
of how climate change should be dealt with. For instance, who is
to bear the burden of emission reductions, which other strategies
can be put in place to reduce concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere,
38 In this respect it is important to bear in mind that unmitigated
climate change would, in the long term, be likely to exceed the
capacity of natural and human systems to adapt. Even the most stringent
mitigation efforts cannot avert further impacts of climate change
in the next few decades. This makes adaptation essential, particularly
in addressing near-term impacts. In fact, adaptation will be necessary
to address impacts resulting from global warming which are already
rendered unavoidable by past emissions.
39 Moreover, adaptation can benefit from experience gained in
responding to extreme climate events, by specifically implementing
proactive adaptation plans for managing the risk of climate change.
However, such adaptation needs to be anticipatory otherwise its
cost will increase whilst its feasibility will decrease.
40 One means of anticipating the effects of climate change can
be to enhance the adaptive capacity of a country. This can be achieved
by, for instance, reducing poverty, improving education and information, achieving
broad and representative participation in the decision-making process
and prioritising integrated responses, etc.
41 Finally, this debate on mitigation versus adaptation brings
us to the question of who should bear the cost of adaptation and
who should cut emissions, hence to a brief evaluation of the Kyoto
Protocol and what should be done to improve its impact on the reduction
of global warming.
3.2 Limitations of the Kyoto Protocol
42 The Kyoto structure, conceived in 1997, establishes
a commitment for developed countries (Annex B of the Protocol) while
postponing the undertakings of the least developed countries. Some
considered this a great stride in setting legally binding quantified
limits on GHG for each industrialised country. However, there are today
many countervailing factors which suggest that this treaty, as it
applies at present, fails to address the power imbalances and the
43 Firstly, the United States, the world’s worst polluter, remains
the only major developed nation that has refused to ratify the protocol,
arguing that the commitments on GHG reductions would damage its
economy. This is a crucial impairment of the treaty’s effectiveness.
The recent ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by Australia, the
world’s biggest coal exporter, is most welcome.
44 Secondly, the Kyoto Protocol actually establishes three mechanisms
to help developed countries avoid the emission reductions. The targets
are balanced against the emission trading scheme, whereby the North
of the world is still allowed to emit between 92% and 108% of 1992
emission levels. According to Greenpeace this will allow the North
to increase its emissions by 0.3% rather than reduce them by 5.2%.
Moreover, the Clean Development Mechanisms and the Joint Implementation
allow for a further reduction in targets in exchange for implementing
mitigation projects in, respectively, non-Annex B and Annex B countries.
45 Thirdly, many argue that the adoption of Clean Development
Mechanisms aggravates the controversy over the inequality, because
many of these mitigation projects are land and forestry sinks. These
projects entail North baseline and political problems. On the one
hand, it is difficult to measure their sequestration potential, and
uncertainties still weigh on leakage issues (do forest planting
and protection displace deforestation elsewhere?). On the other
hand, sinks might divert attention from much-needed mitigation strategies
and take land from agriculture and territorial communities, thereby
reinforcing neocolonialist power structures.
46 At present, the least developed countries do not have emission
reductions for several reasons that allow for their history (they
are the least responsible for the present global warming), their
right to development (emission reductions should not be used to
hinder their development), and their lack of the technologies needed
to mitigate their emissions. Nevertheless, the severe threat the
earth is facing, which will most likely affect them first and worst,
does also necessitate clear emission reductions for the developing
countries that are expected to become the biggest polluters in the
years ahead. For instance, China has ratified the Kyoto Protocol
on the understanding that at present it is not bound by emission
reductions. However, together with India and South Korea, it resists
entirely the idea of binding targets for developing nations.
47 The least developed countries ask, in exchange for legally
binding targets, for the North’s undertaking to transfer the necessary
technology to reduce emissions. This is another critical issue that
antagonises the two sides. The developed countries resist this choice,
which is unfeasible according to them (because technology is owned
by the private sector) and is likely to reduce the investment in
research and development.
3.3 UN Climate Change Conference, Bali, 3-14 December
48 The 13th Conference of the Parties to the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the
3rd Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol were held in Bali,
Indonesia, from 3 to 14 December 2007.
49 The conference, hosted by the Government of Indonesia, brought
together more than 10 000 participants including representatives
of over 180 countries together with observers from intergovernmental and
non-governmental organisations and the media.
50 The Bali conference was held in the aftermath of the publication,
on 17 November 2007, of the 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that confirmed the severe threat
posed by climate change on our planet.
51 A first important step has been the announcement, on the first
day of the conference, by Australia of its ratification of the Kyoto
Protocol, which undoubtedly changed the path of negotiations. Now
the United States remains the only major developed nation that has
refused to ratify the protocol.
Against all odds and despite the participation of the Bush
Administration, the outcome has been better than anyone could reasonably
have expected and includes:
in principle on a 2050 target of halving emissions;
- agreement to negotiate a binding deal in 2009, when the
Bush Administration will be gone, and short-term targets back on
- agreement to provide assistance to developing countries
for both mitigation and adaptation;
- agreement by China to pursue emissions-cutting actions
that are “measurable, reportable and verifiable”.
53 Even if one can still regret that no firm short-term targets
in the agreement of this round of negotiations, the conference culminated
in the adoption of the Bali road map, which charts the course for
a new negotiating process to be concluded by 2009 that will ultimately
lead to a post-2012 international agreement on climate change.
54 Innovative decisions were taken which form core elements of
the road map. They include the launch of the Adaptation Fund as
well as decisions on technology transfer and on reducing emissions
56 The urgency of action has been reaffirmed by the
report “Climate solutions: WWF’s vision for 2050”, launched on 15
May 2007, and at the UN Climate Change Conference 2007 in Bali (3-12
December 2007). It shows that it is possible to save the planet
from a climate change catastrophe, but the world has just five years to
do so: the major changes in the energy patterns need to be made
The rapporteur refers in particular to Parliamentary Assembly Resolutions 1243 (2001)
the Kyoto Protocol on climate change: need for committed international
solidarity, and 1292
on the World Summit on Sustainable Development:
ten years after Rio, to Recommendation
on follow-up to the World Summit on Sustainable
Development: a common challenge, and to Resolution 1406 (2004)
warming – Beyond Kyoto.
The comprehensive action plans for implementing the Kyoto
Protocol depend on measures for reducing green-house gas emissions,
on the one hand, and increasing absorption of those gases, on the
other. For this purpose, it is necessary to encourage and develop
the second most important instrument for combating climate change,
namely the capture and storage of carbon dioxide by living matter.
In this respect, the Assembly recalls its Resolution 1552 (2007)
of carbon dioxide as a means of fighting climate change.
59 Kyoto enforcement mechanisms should be strengthened by imposing
stronger sanctions on infringing countries, by “name-shaming” after
negative reports, etc., and all governments should involve themselves
in the new negotiating process to be concluded by 2009 that will
ultimately lead to a post-Kyoto, 2012 international agreement on
60 The Assembly should encourage the work of the Carbon Sequestration
Leadership Forum, with the participation notably of the United States,
to work together at promoting technologies that can reduce greenhouse
gas emissions from coal power plants and produce hydrogen for use
as a source of energy, particularly in the transport sector.
61 Efforts are to be stepped up to implement effective mechanisms
to promote new technological processes contributing to carbon capture
and the conservation of fuel resources.
62 The EU should take the lead role by harmonising energy policies
and by committing itself to stricter emission reductions, at least
30% by 2020 of 1990 levels of CO2 emissions, because warming must
be contained at no more than 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures.
63 Moreover, the entire world should reduce emissions by 50%
by 2050, by signing a treaty for the post-2012 period. This still
requires ratification by the United States of the Kyoto Protocol
and the engagement in Phase II of the negotiations of the least
developed countries, who will be the top emitters in the next fifty
years (for example, China, India, Brazil, South Korea, etc.).
64 Furthermore, it is necessary to improve current Kyoto mechanisms,
in the light of experience gained over the years. In order for emission
trading to be successful, clear property rights, as well as workable
accounting systems, must be established. This must overcome the
intrinsic difficulties caused by the impossibility of quantifying
carbon stocks and measuring emissions for each company, individual,
government, etc. Intergovernmental accounting mechanisms must also
be established to ensure that not only the most polluting, but also
the least developed, countries are monitored for delivery of objectives.
65 It is urgent to step up efforts to reduce global green-house
gas emissions and new and cost-effective processes aimed at reducing
the amount of carbon dioxide released from coal-fired power plants
should be developed. Innovative solutions are needed for the commercial
production and use of clean energy for electricity generation as
well as fuel for industry and transport. Further research in areas
such as carbon sequestration, hydrogen production and storage, biomass
conversion, advanced gasification, clean fuel technologies, and
gas cleaning technologies must be supported.
66 In addition to governments, all actors must be involved at
every level in the fight against climate change: NGOs, civil society,
local and regional authorities, international corporations and financial
67 Some degree of direct foreign investment and technology transfer
should take place, on “favourable terms” (for example, through joint
ventures and public funding), in the Clean Development Mechanisms scheme,
in order to involve the most disadvantaged countries in emission
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International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 4th Assessment
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International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Climate change
2007: synthesis report – Summary for policymakers” (www.ipcc.ch).
Stockholm Environment Institute, World Conservation Union,
International Institute for Sustainable Development and Worldwatch
Institute, “Adapting to climate change: natural resource management
and vulnerability reduction” (www.wri.org), 2007.
United Nations report, “On better terms – A glance at the
key climate change and disaster risk reduction concepts”, consultation
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and
the Pacific, “Climate change and the Pacific islands” (www.unescap.org/mced2000/pacific/background/climate.htm),
United Nations Environment Programme, “Adaptation to climate
change – Key challenge for Artic people and Artic economy” (www.unep.org),
press release, April 2007.
United Nations Environment Programme, “Europe set for warmer
northern winters, hotter southern summers and worsening drought
and floods” (www.unep.org),
press release, April 2007.
United Nations Environment Programme, “Deserts will confront
growing pressure in the coming decades” (www.unep.org/geo/gdoutlook/007.asp),
WWF, “Stormy Europe, the power sector and extreme weather”
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history” (www.wwf.org.uk/news/n_0000003767.asp), 2007.
Reporting committee: Committee on the Environment, Agriculture
and Local and Regional Affairs.
Reference to committee: Doc. 11199 and
Reference No. 3334 of 16 April 2007.
Draft recommendation adopted unanimously by the committee
on 20 December 2007.
Members of the committee: Mr Walter Schmied (Chairperson),
Mr Alan Meale (1st Vice-Chairperson), Mr Pasquale
Nessa (2nd Vice-Chairperson), Mr Ruhi Açikgöz, Mr Milos Aligrudić,
Mr Gerolf Annemans, Mr Ivo Banac, Mr Tommaso Barbato, Mr Rony Bargetze,
Mr Paul Bradford (alternate: Mrs Cecilia Keaveney), Mr Ivan
Brajović, Mr Mauro Chiaruzzi, Mrs Pikria Chikhradze, Mr Valeriu
Cosarciuc, Mr Osman Coşkunoğlu, Mr Taulant Dedja, Mr Hubert Deittert, Mr Tomasz Dudziński Mr József
Ékes, Mr Savo Erić, Mr Bill Etherington,
Mr Nigel Evans, Mr Iván Farkas,
Mr Adolfo Fernández Aguilar,
Mr György Frunda, Ms Eva Garcia Pastor, Mr Konstantinos Gioulekas,
Mr Peter Götz, Mr Vladimir Grachev,
Mr Rafael Huseynov, Mr Stanisław Huskowski, Mr Jean Huss, Mr Fazail İbrahimlı, Mr Ilie Ilaşcu, Mr Mustafa Ilicali, Mrs Fatme
Ilyaz, Mr Ivan Ivanov, Mr Bjørn Jacobsen, Mr Gediminas Jakavonis, Mrs Danuta Jazłowiecka,
Mr Victor Kolesnikov, Mr Juha Korkeaoja, Mr Gerhard Kurzmann, Mr Dominique
Le Mèner, Mr François Loncle, Mr Aleksei Lotman, Ms Kerstin Lundgren,
Mr Theo Maissen (alternate: Mr John Dupraz),
Mrs Maria Manuela de Melo,
Mr José Mendes Bota, Mr Vladimir Mokry, Mr Stefano Morselli, Mr Tomislav
Nikolic, Mrs Carina Ohlsson,
Mr Pieter Omtzigt, Mr Germinal Peiro, Mr Ivan Popescu, Mr Cezar Florin Preda,
Mr Jakob Presečnik, Mr Lluís Maria de Puig,
Mr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, Mrs Adoración Quesada Bravo (alternate:
Mr Gabino Puche), Mr Dario Rivolta,
Mr René Rouquet, Mrs Anta
Rugāte, Mr Fidias Sarikas, Mr Hermann Scheer, Mr Andreas Schieder, Mr Mher Shahgeldyan,
Mr Steingrímur Sigfússon, Mr Hans Kristian Skibby, Mr Ladislav Skopal,
Mr Christophe Spiliotis-Saquet, Mr Rainder Steenblock, Mr Vilmos
Szabó, Mr Bruno Tobback, Mr Nikolay Tulaev,
Mr Victor Tykhonov, Mr Tomáš Úlehla, Mr Rudolf Vis, Mr Harm Evert Waalkens, Mr Mykola
Yankovskyi, Mrs Maryam Yazdanfar, Mr Blagoj Zašov, Ms Rodoula Zissi.
NB: The names of those members present at the meeting are
printed in bold.
See 4th Sitting, 22 January 2008 (adoption of the draft recommendation,
as amended); and Recommendation 1823.