Despite the progress achieved at the Bali Conference, it is essential that the international community keep up its momentum in order to ensure that the ongoing negotiations on climate change result in a satisfactory agreement at the next conference, to be held in Copenhagen in December 2009.
Climate change continues to pose a growing threat to our environment and to humanity, as well as to world peace and stability.
For example, there is a risk of conflict in several world regions over control of natural resources, such as water. We are also likely to see population movements due to the difficulties faced by the inhabitants of some world regions in producing enough to satisfy their needs. We have to face the fact that drinking water is going to be increasingly scarce and that 3% of animal and plant species are in danger of becoming extinct.
Furthermore, continuing deforestation will ultimately lead to the destruction of our “air conditioning system”.
In view of this challenge facing us all, we have a duty to continue combining our efforts.
Indeed, the role of each and every one of us will be absolutely crucial in meeting this challenge because, as Prince Charles said in his speech to the European Parliament in February, “the doomsday clock of climate change is ticking ever faster”. Clearly, our policies are no longer suitable for responding to the upheavals caused by climate change and it is becoming a matter of urgency to implement integrated strategies and participatory approaches and to make the most of all our knowledge and expertise.
The challenges are tremendous and require effective tools. All citizens should therefore be encouraged to be creative and to innovate and society as a whole should commit itself to finding solutions and adopting new patterns of behaviour.
We have now entered the post-Kyoto period and, in this context, the European Union and the Council of Europe must ensure that Europe plays a leading role in the task of combating climate change.
The Assembly believes that both member and non-member states have a crucial role to play and must continue reflecting on the issues together with representatives of the different sectors, including the environmental, agricultural, industrial and economic sectors.