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Procedure : 2009/2152(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0057/2010

Texts tabled :

A7-0057/2010

Debates :

Votes :

PV 06/05/2010 - 7.8
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2010)0154

Texts adopted
DOC 84k
Thursday, 6 May 2010 - Brussels Final edition
Commission White Paper: ‘Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action’
P7_TA(2010)0154A7-0057/2010

European Parliament resolution of 6 May 2010 on the Commission White Paper: ‘Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action’ (2009/2152(INI))

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the Commission White Paper entitled ‘Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action’ (COM(2009)0147),

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 April 2008 on ‘Adapting to climate change in Europe – options for EU action’(1) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 4 February 2009 on ‘2050: The future begins today – Recommendations for the EU's future integrated policy on climate change’(2) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 September 2009 on forest fires in the summer of 2009(3) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 November 2009 on the EU strategy for the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change (COP 15)(4) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 February 2010 on the outcome of the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change (COP15)(5) ,

–  having regard to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC and the outcome of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Copenhagen(6) ,

–  having regard to Directive 2009/29/EC of 23 April 2009 amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme of the Community(7) ,

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinions of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on Transport and Tourism, the Committee on Regional Development and the Committee on Fisheries (A7-0057/2010),

A.  whereas global warming and climate change are recognised as extremely serious threats,

B.  whereas the effects of climate change will lead to significant environmental, economic and social impacts,

C.  whereas, even if the world succeeds in limiting and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it would still require significant adaptation efforts to deal with the unavoidable impacts,

D.  whereas the target of halting global warming at +2°C would still mean a warming scenario for Europe, marked by extreme regional climate changes, and whereas the current pledges notified to the UNFCCC would add up to warming of +3.5-4°C if implemented,

E.  whereas the impacts of climate change will affect European regions in different ways, with different degrees of severity and in different timeframes,

F.  whereas, as pointed out in the Commission's White Paper, adaptation will require solidarity among EU Member States towards disadvantaged regions and regions most affected by climate change,

G.  whereas southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin are two particularly vulnerable areas of Europe which are already coping with water scarcity, droughts and forest fires, and whereas recent research indicates that a decrease of up to 25% in crop yield production by 2080 is to be expected in southern Europe(8) ,

H.  whereas, according to the European Respiratory Society, for every Celsius degree increase in temperature over a given city-specific threshold, mortality amongst those with respiratory problems increases by 6%,

I.  whereas the section headed ‘External dimension and ongoing work under the UNFCCC’ in the White Paper is an important one and the EU needs to speak with one voice in order to resume the leading role in the fight against climate change, helping to create a new ‘climate diplomacy’, as called for in the European Parliament resolution of 10 February 2010 on the outcome of the Copenhagen Conference,

J.  whereas the impacts of climate change on the economy, society and the wider environment will be most severely felt in an indirect manner, through the degradation of the ecosystem services fundamental to human well-being, and whereas this requires the protection of ecosystems to be the foundation of an EU adaptation strategy,

K.  whereas rising average temperatures reduce demand for oil and gas for heating purposes, but whereas at the same time the number of days on which cooling is needed increases, which can increase demand for electricity,

L.  whereas the existing European legislation directly addressing environmental issues should provide coherent foundations for enhancing the EU's ability to cope with the impact of climate change,

M.  whereas action taken at European level should set and meet the highest standards in terms of respect for the environment, in both the short and long term (including adaptation to climate change),

1.  Welcomes the above-mentioned White Paper;

2.  Agrees with the objective of the proposed EU Adaptation Framework, i.e. to improve the EU's resilience in dealing with the impact of climate change;

3.  Especially welcomes the White Paper's emphasis on increasing the resilience of all ecosystems as an essential defence against the impacts of climate change; further stresses that natural ecosystems are the Earth's most important carbon sinks, sequestering 50% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to both mitigation and adaptation;

4.  Highlights the importance of establishing national adaptation plans based on a common European framework enabling the Member States to plan and communicate their adaptation efforts; considers that such plans need to include risk and hazard maps showing infrastructure and installations that could pose a risk to the environment or to public health should adverse weather events occur; calls for such information to be made available to the public and the other Member States;

5.  Highlights the importance of mainstreaming adaptation into all EU policies, particularly the common agricultural and fisheries policies, forestry policy and cohesion policy, and into legislation on environmental impact assessment, planning permission and building standards, (and of ensuring the coherence of such measures by means of a horizontal, cross-sectoral approach based on ecosystem resilience;

6.  Emphasises that the main areas of action identified in the White Paper should be further prioritised according to the timeframe in which different consequences are expected to occur in Europe, in order to channel the available resources more effectively;

Developing the knowledge base

7.  Shares the Commission's view that more knowledge on climate change impacts is needed, so that the information resulting from research can be disseminated in the widest possible scope and, consequently, appropriate adaptation measures can be developed;

8.  Calls on the Commission not only to develop a knowledge base about the impact of climate change with specific reference to the European Union, but also to pass on that knowledge to developing and industrialising countries so that they can use it in order to devise their own responses to the problem of climate change and make effective use of funding for climate protection measures;

9.  Emphasises that research efforts should be strengthened, within the framework of the current Seventh Framework Programme and future research framework programmes, in order to address existing knowledge gaps in relation to hazards (past and likely future weather-related disasters) and other relevant factors such as socio-economic developments (current and future geographical distribution of assets at risk) in specific places and at specific times, and to develop modalities and techniques for assessing the costs and benefits of measures for adaptation to the impacts of climate change and their respective contribution to reducing exposure or vulnerability to climatic risks, and that priority should be given to conducting research and financing technological development in states incurring high adaptation costs;

10.  Takes the view that vulnerability indicators should be drawn up as a matter of urgency, given the diverse range of climate scenarios within the Community, and underlines the need for further research into appropriate modelling at national, regional and local levels, as well as the need to define adaptive capacity across the territory of the EU; urges the EEA, therefore, to produce reports analysing the risks that climate change presents to Europe's most vulnerable regions, identifying needs, constraints, timeframes, opportunities, policy levels and options for adaptation, in order to extract policy guidance on adaptation practice and to assist regional and local stakeholders in developing robust adaptation strategies;

11.  Recalls, however, that uncertainty about the impact of climate change is part and parcel of the problem, and that decisions in this area will sometimes have to be taken without waiting for scientific certainty, in accordance with a precautionary approach;

12.  Is of the opinion that it is necessary to earmark funding for climate research, which can be done more effectively at European level and will provide a sound basis for developing climate change adaptation policies;

13.  Encourages the Commission to ensure easy access to detailed data (including metadata describing the dataset methodologies) for all public and private stakeholders; takes the view that climate change data should be considered to be a public good and thus, in line with Article 14 of the INSPIRE Directive, be made available to the public free of charge or at a charge that covers the cost of maintaining datasets and the corresponding data services;

14.  Emphasises the need to develop a network of local and regional climate change adaptation initiatives and to exchange experience on a Europe-wide basis; points out that identifying best practice solutions can generate added value for the EU strategy;

15.  Emphasises the relevance of participatory research methods such as those encouraged within the ‘Science in Society’ programme under the EU's 7th research framework programme, which facilitate joint knowledge-building in conjunction with communities and local authorities with a view to determining the best adaptation strategies at regional and local levels and ensuring better dissemination of knowledge;

16.  Welcomes the White Paper's suggestion that a mechanism be established for sharing information; hopes that this will be operational by 2011, and that models and prediction tools will also have been developed by then;

17.  Takes the view that the Commission should ensure that the Clearing House Mechanism is developed as a portal, which will integrate other existing systems such as the Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and should add value in terms of preparing the EU, the Member States and private stakeholders to plan, fund and implement proper adaptation plans;

18.  Emphasises the importance of satellite-based services, notably for rescue activities in the event of natural disasters; calls on all those involved to make GMES fully operational as soon as possible;

Integrating adaptation into EU policies
General principle

19.  Emphasises the need to adopt a cross-sectoral approach based on ecosystem resilience, habitat and biodiversity protection and the services provided by ecosystems, and to ensure synergy and coherence among the measures to be taken as part of all relevant sector-specific policies;

Water

20.  Is particularly concerned about water, one of the primary resources on our planet, as climate change will have a significant impact on the quantity and the quality of water, especially drinking water;

21.  Stresses that the EU must manage its water resources more effectively through a sustainable twin-track approach – enhancing the resource's potential and actively reducing demand and wastage on the part of the population – and socio-economic activities;

22.  Emphasises the importance of fully integrating adaptation into the River Basin Management Plans in line with the guidelines issued on 30 November 2009;

23.  Emphasises the importance of ensuring active implementation of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC)(9) and the effectiveness of River Basin Management Plans, especially in the case of cross-border basins and in regions where water stress will reach a critical level and/or where the frequency of floods is increasing;

24.  Stresses the importance of the implementation of the Floods Directive which provides a comprehensive mechanism for assessing and monitoring increased risks of flooding due to climate change and for developing adaptation approaches, along with the benefits of a resilient environment and resilient ecosystems when it comes to monitoring and minimising the impact of floods;

Agriculture and forestry

25.  Emphasises the need to enhance resilience of the agricultural ecosystems by more sustainable use of natural resources, in particular of water and soil, by actively discouraging unsustainable practices and the planting of crop types that are not suitable because of their water consumption and by making greater use of intra- and inter-species biodiversity when it comes to seeds and animal breeds;

26.  Considers that the common agricultural policy has a central role to play in contributing to adaptation, and that it needs to develop a more ecosystem-based approach to agriculture, protecting and enhancing the delivery of biodiversity conservation and other ecosystem services, including soil conservation, floodwater quality and ecological connectivity across landscapes, and that the introduction of sustainable farming practices will have major benefits for soil conservation, water management, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem resilience;

27.  Emphasises that EU measures to protect forests will have to incorporate adaptation, since forest ecosystems will be deeply affected by climate change and there will be a greater risk of fires;

28.  Welcomes the Commission's proposals to update the EU's forestry strategy; urges the Commission to launch a debate on forest protection as soon as possible;

29.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to introduce agroforestry measures for the afforestation of Mediterranean countries as a cost-effective way to provide basic ecosystem services;

30.  Expresses its concern that in recent years Europe has suffered from fires destroying more than 400 000 hectares of forest per year, caused by the progressive abandonment of the countryside and its traditional activities, inadequate forest maintenance, the existence of large expanses of forest consisting of a single tree species, the planting of unsuitable tree varieties, the absence of a proper prevention policy and insufficiently severe penalties where fires are started deliberately, together with the inadequate implementation of laws prohibiting illegal building and ensuring reafforestation; notes that with fires occurring on this scale, especially in southern Europe, forests are unable to regenerate, and that this has serious ecological consequences and economic and social effects; also notes that the unusual weather conditions experienced in 2007 exacerbated the phenomenon of mega-fires, something which is likely to recur more often in years to come; further notes that global warming will increase over the next 30 years at least, and that this could primarily affect specific regions particularly vulnerable to climate change;

31.  Urges the Commission, in its proposal for an EU action plan for adapting to climate change, to prioritise the prevention and combating of droughts and forest fires, with an emphasis on southern Europe, as suggested by Parliament in its resolution on forest fires in the summer of 2009;

32.  Calls on the Commission to put forward recommendations on ways of adapting national civil protection systems to cope with the impact of climate change; particularly urges the Commission to take action to expand the European Forest Fire Tactical Reserve in terms of resources and capacity;

33.  Recommends that the Commission draw up research programmes to investigate the reaction of forests to higher levels of CO2, higher temperatures and drought;

34.  Recommends that the Commission draw up research programmes to develop new techniques for the forest management of affected ecosystems in view of the new circumstances being created by climate change;

Fisheries

35.  Calls for consideration to be given to alternative fisheries management systems and to reducing the capacity of some segments of the European fleet, with the aim of establishing sustainable fishing and aquaculture practices;

36.  Calls on the Commission to carry out studies designed to assess the phenomenon of green algae and their impact on the fishing industry; calls, further, for a study to be carried out on how changes in currents as a result of climate warming influence the movements of certain marine species;

37.  Strongly urges the Commission to ensure that the Integrated Coastal Zone Management recommendations are reinforced and implemented in the wider context of the Integrated Maritime Policy, bringing together all the sectoral policies relating to the sea and the oceans;

38.  Urges the Commission to ensure that adaptation through ecosystem resilience is mainstreamed when it comes to the Community's position in the context of international negotiations on fishing and the marine environment, and most notably in the context of Fisheries Partnership Agreements and RFOs;

39.  Calls on the Commission to participate actively in the establishment of a ‘blue carbon fund’ in the context of the UNFCC; stresses that such a fund should explore financial and coordination mechanisms for the protection and management of coastal and marine ecosystems and ocean carbon, as part of a global strategy for marine planning;

Soil

40.  Takes the view that not only does soil have a strong impact on climate change, but that climate change itself can result in severe soil degradation or erosion;

41.  Recognises that soil degradation has primarily local and regional causes and impacts, and that the principle of subsidiarity should consequently be respected; urges those Member States without soil protection legislation to shoulder their responsibilities;

Coastal and island areas

42.  Takes the view that coastal and island areas should be eligible for priority adaptation measures, given that they are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and are densely populated, and that the economic stakes are very high;

Health and social policies

43.  Stresses that climate change adaptation policies should have the ambition of becoming the driver of sustainable growth; stresses, moreover, that these policies can and must also have the ability to create jobs and protect social justice, thereby contributing to higher employment levels and helping to fight poverty and social inequalities;

44.  Underlines that the social and employment dimension of adaptation policies needs to be taken into account within the EU's recovery strategy;

45.  Observes that ambitious adjustment plans will contribute to the development of green jobs in Europe, which will help us towards a carbon-free economy, and calls on the Commission and Member States therefore to make greater efforts to achieve more sustainable economic growth everywhere in Europe;

46.  Stresses the need to provide poorer communities and social groups with adequate protection in connection with the high cost of adaptation efforts;

47.  Welcomes the proposals of the Commission to develop guidelines and surveillance mechanisms on the health impact of climate change by 2011; underlines the increasing risk of propagation of vector-borne diseases, the serious impacts on respiratory health and the need to educate European citizens about effective preventive measures recommended by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control;

48.  Notes that the health impacts of climate change are likely to impact the hardest on the most deprived communities, the poorest populations and the most vulnerable groups, such as children, the elderly and those who are already ill; regards it as essential for adaptation measures to be considered in the context of health inequalities, and for such measures to encourage action that promotes health co-benefits;

49.  Stresses the need to step up existing animal disease surveillance and control systems;

50.  Recognises the role the health sector plays in adaptation; calls on the EU to support action to reduce the sector's carbon footprint, and to ensure adequate financing for adaptation measures in the health sector;

Infrastructure

51.  Underlines the need to ensure that existing legislation on industrial permitting and environmental impact assessment requires any planned infrastructure or authorised industrial activity to take full account of the predicted future climatic conditions and resulting risks, while maintaining a certain adaptive capacity; points out that in many cases it would be more appropriate not to develop vulnerable areas rather than to construct defences in preparation for adverse climate effects;

52.  Stresses the need to ensure that environmental impact assessments, where relevant, take in general into account probable different adaptation scenarios to the extent that these scenarios are scientifically substantiated;

53.  Calls on the Commission to develop as soon as possible methodologies for ‘climate-proofing’ infrastructure projects, including a cost-benefit analysis and possible alternatives;

54.  Suggests that the Commission should consider ways of encouraging appropriate land-use planning (including risk and hazard mapping) among the possibilities that it intends to explore in connection with the climate impact assessment of public and private investment;

55.  Encourages the Commission to go ahead with its plan to incorporate climate impacts into construction standards (such as Eurocodes) in order to improve the resilience of buildings located in risk-prone areas;

56.  Takes the view that, from the micro-climatic point of view, construction that prevents water from running off land in densely populated areas and towns should be avoided;

Transport

57.  Regrets the lack of attention paid to the transport sector in the White Paper, even though it accounts for 27% of EU greenhouse gas emissions and effective adaptation measures are needed;

58.  Stresses the need for the transport sector to form an integral part of the European strategy on climate change, and calls on the Commission to put forward a proposal for a European climate and transport package as soon as possible;

59.  Considers it essential to support a modal shift as one means of moving towards the decarbonisation of transport;

60.  Stresses that all modes of transport must gradually internalise their external adaptation costs;

61.  Takes the view that the economic, social and financial implications of the necessary adaptation measures in the transport sector, such as the effect of reorganising the sector (notably owing to a modal shift) are still not adequately known or anticipated; calls on the Commission to define vulnerability indicators and methods for exchanging best practice for the sector's different components (rail, road, air and maritime transport);

62.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to draw up an effective urban mobility policy which will reduce traffic congestion and pollution in large urban areas through the development of public transport and co-modality and the use of intelligent transport systems;

63.  Stresses also that in order to promote a modern and sustainable transport policy, the appropriate financial support needs to be provided to priority TEN railway, maritime and waterways projects during the next EU financial programming period (2014-2020);

64.  Stresses the need to proceed with the ‘Eurovignette’ Directive legislative process in order to facilitate the internalisation of external costs on the basis of the ‘polluter pays’ principle, establishing a level playing-field for competition between modes of transport;

Energy

65.  Emphasises that climate change has a major impact on energy supply and demand in the EU Member States;

66.  Calls on the Commission to conduct an in-depth analysis of future energy scenarios, taking into account the impact of climate change on infrastructures and energy demand;

67.  Calls on the Commission to investigate whether electricity production potential from renewable and fossil fuel energy sources will change as a result of climate change, and draws particular attention to the constraints on the cooling of thermal power stations and the consequences thereof;

68.  Notes, in relation to the cooling of reactors, the particular risks posed to the safety of nuclear installations during heat waves, a problem which can have potentially significant negative environmental impacts on surrounding waters and security of supply implications;

69.  Notes that extreme weather conditions such as floods and storms can damage power stations, electricity pylons, substations and electricity cabinets, or shut them down temporarily; takes the view that diverse and robust electricity networks are therefore required to cope with the greater need for network flexibility, and that both local networks and international high-tension grids thus need to be strengthened;

70.  Emphasises that energy use in buildings will change as a result of climate change, and that the greatest challenge here lies in tackling the overheating of buildings; takes the view that natural cooling, mechanical cooling, energy performance and well thought-out spatial planning should play an important role in this respect;

71.  Takes the view that, by means of intelligent energy policies that actively promote renewable energy sources, decentralised energy supply and energy efficiency in their territories, the regions can not only contribute to fighting the effects of climate change, but also open up new economic opportunities and prospects for their citizens;

72.  Stresses that measures concerning energy supply and access to energy have to be defined in a context of solidarity among Member States and that the EU should contribute to a global policy shift towards greater energy efficiency and the promotion of low-carbon energy sources, e.g. renewable energy sources (RES);

73.  Calls on the Member States to provide, by 30 June 2010, ambitious, comprehensive and realistic national action plans in accordance with the models and parameters laid down by the EU, observing that the needs of each Member State for energy from renewable sources must be met principally by domestic production, while the mechanism for the statistical transfer of energy from renewable sources between Member States must be used only where this is considered to be fully justified;

74.  Stresses that immediate priority must be given to additional measures to promote the Community strategy aimed at achieving a 20% increase in energy efficiency by 2020; also considers it appropriate, in the context of assessing current energy efficiency action plans, to consider the possibility of making this objective legally binding at Community level;

Biodiversity

75.  Given that NATURA 2000 forms the central pillar of EU policy efforts to maintain ecosystems in changing climate conditions, calls for active management of NATURA 2000 sites and of other relevant landscapes, with proper financing from the EU and Member States and based on close cooperation with and consultation of local communities, and stresses, further, the need for guidelines to ensure connectivity between natural areas; stresses that, as stated in the Commission Impact Assessment (SEC(2008)2887) annexed to the Commission Communication ‘Towards an EU strategy on invasive species’, there is still a lot to learn about the magnitude and pathways of invasive species, how they impact on ecosystems, and how climate change will affect biological invasions;

76.  Emphasises that the resilience of terrestrial as well as marine ecosystems ultimately depends on the preservation of biological diversity;

77.  Highlights the fact that existing EU legislation, such as the Water Framework Directive(10) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive(11) , can help to address ecosystem resilience in Europe as long as management plans incorporate an ecosystems-based approach; calls on the Commission and Member States to attach the highest priority to implementing these policies;

78.  Stresses the importance of studying the phenomenon of the invasion of European ecosystems by alien species (e.g. tropical marine species in the Mediterranean) and of developing suitable policies to counter it;

Urban environments

79.  Stresses the fact that urban areas in Europe accommodate nearly 75% of the population and that climate change is one additional factor impacting on quality of life in towns and cities; urges the EEA to study the expected impact of climate change on micro-climates in urban areas (taking into account, for example, the urban heat-island effect);

Migration

80.  Emphasises that climate change is likely to induce large-scale environmental migration from regions which are already at the origin of migration flows to Europe (Africa, the Middle East, south and south-east Asia);

81.  Stresses that environmental migration should be taken into account in the long-term planning of development assistance policy, so that timely prevention and prompt humanitarian response measures can be taken in the countries of origin;

Cultural heritage

82.  Stresses the importance of developing adaptation measures which take into account all aspects of European cultural heritage;

Structure and governance

83.  Stresses the need for local and regional authorities to be recognised as pivotal actors in the struggle against the harmful effects of climate change;

84.  Emphasises the importance of having the appropriate level of intervention, cross-sectoral integration and resilient environmental underpinning in order to maximise the effectiveness of the measures implemented;

85.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to encourage a coordinated approach when dealing with adaptation to guarantee territorial cohesion across the EU;

86.  Is of the view that measures should be taken that reconcile economically innovative and sustainable action with protection of the natural environment and thus minimise conflicts of use between ecological and economic interests;

87.  Urges the Commission to act on the proposals to introduce mandatory National and Regional Adaptation Strategies;

88.  Invites the Commission to develop a comprehensive approach regarding the involvement of the insurance industry towards risk awareness and risk sharing;

89.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to develop the public-private partnerships needed to create a long-term, strong and effective climate risk management framework (covering all aspects from risk awareness to risk sharing and recovery), with strong leadership by and the involvement of the public authorities;

90.  Considers that the outermost regions, owing to their special circumstances – as set out in Article 349 of the Treaty of Lisbon – and their geographical location in the tropics, are susceptible to the consequences of climate change and should consequently receive special attention from the Commission; calls on the Commission, therefore, to develop an impact assessment and specific action plan for the outermost regions and to support information exchanges and exchanges of good practices between local authorities in those regions and regional authorities in third countries in their surrounding geographical areas;

91.  Asks the Commission to exercise fully the new rights the Lisbon Treaty gives it under Article 260 in order to fulfil its role as guardian of the Treaties;

Financing

92.  Emphasises that the EU budget does not currently reflect EU policy priorities in the field of adaptation to climate change;

93.  Urges the Commission, in the framework of the review of the current multiannual financial framework, to focus on the capacity of the EU budget to cope with climate change; stresses that the next multiannual financial framework should accord a high ranking to climate change, and in particular to adaptation measures, ensuring that the necessary funds are available;

94.  Urges the Commission, in the framework of the EU budget review, and in order to ensure that it addresses climate change impacts, to propose a climate-proofing procedure;

95.  Calls, in the future, for the prioritisation of climate change, in particular by integrating the adaptation strategy into European Union policies;

96.  Calls for strict care to be taken to ensure that an evaluation of climate change effects forms part of the process of approving proposals for EU-funded projects connected with energy efficiency, waste management and infrastructure development;

97.  Stresses that the objectives of climate change and environmental protection should be integrated into the EU cohesion policy's convergence and growth objectives, without replacing the traditional tasks of structural policy;

98.  Urges the Commission to put forward, in keeping with the EU Sustainable Development Strategy(12) , and as a matter of urgency, a Road Map for the sector-by-sector reform of subsidies that have a considerable negative impact on the environment, with a view gradually to eliminating them; stresses, further, that financial resources made available through this reform should be directed towards adaptation efforts and green jobs;

99.  Emphasises that the funds made available under the various economic recovery plans should also be directed to adaptation investments, and in any case need to be climate-proofed;

100.  Emphasises the principle of prevention in adapting to climate change; calls on the Commission to develop approaches to ensure that costs arising from a failure to take adaptation measures are not passed on to the general public;

101.  Supports the Commission in urging the Council to reactivate the process of the revision of the Solidarity Fund Regulation (EUSF), which will make it possible to address damage caused by natural or man-made disasters in a more effective, flexible and timely manner;

102.  Underlines that a substantial part of the revenues generated by the auctioning of allowances in the Community greenhouse gas emission allowance trading system (EU ETS), including auctioning for aviation and maritime transport, should be earmarked for enabling Member States and developing countries to adapt to climate change; takes the view that such provisions should also support sustainable modes of transport in Europe, such as rail transport; calls for the funding already earmarked from the EU ETS for the purpose of solidarity and growth in the Community (revenues deriving from 10% of the total quantity of allowances to be auctioned) to be distributed among lower income-level Member States, equally between adaptation and mitigation measures;

103.  Calls for the allocation of funds derived from the ETS and other Community sources to help Member States adapt to climate change to take into account the vulnerability to climate change of each Member State or region;

104.  Recognises the historical responsibility borne by the industrialised countries for the current increase in global temperatures; reiterates the statements it made in its resolution of 10 February 2010, including that EU commitments to finance climate efforts in developing countries should be new and additional to existing ODA commitments and independent of annual budgetary procedures in the Member States;

External dimension

105.  Reiterates the need to include adaptation measures in all EU external policies, in accordance with point 8 of the Copenhagen Accord;

106.  Emphasises that the value of ecosystem services and resilience is even more significant in the least developed countries(13) ; stresses that climate adaptation policies, and especially ecosystem resilience policies, should be duly taken into account in all international negotiations, including trade negotiations;

107.  Is firmly convinced of the need for the European Union to retain and reinforce its leadership role in the international fight against global warming, and believes that any delay in taking such action will heighten the risk of adverse environmental, economic and social effects and be likely to generate higher costs;

108.  Stresses that, when it comes to ensuring the successful implementation of the European Framework for Action on Adaptation, a decisive factor will be its inclusion as part of a cohesive and ambitious worldwide agreement (with legally binding objectives) on measures to combat climate change, and that the EU must take the lead in this direction;

109.  Calls on the Commission to consider increasing the public funds devoted to international cooperation in the forthcoming 8th Framework Programme (FP8), in:

   a. developed countries, in order to increase the spread of renewable technologies;
   b. developing countries, in order to support their fight against climate change affecting the most vulnerable regions of such countries, always with due regard to the particular circumstances of each region, the criterion being the social and economic development of those regions of developing countries with which international cooperation is organised; and
   c. third countries adjoining the EU in which the effects of climate change are similar to those observed within the EU;

Impact and adaptation Steering Group

110.  Supports the proposal of the Commission to set up an impact and adaptation steering group; stresses that it is important for this group to involve regional and local actors in addition to state representatives; asks the Commission to ensure that this group includes representatives of Parliament as observers , as well as private stakeholders in an expert capacity; calls on the Commission to ensure that the steering group pays particular attention to the most severe health impacts of climate change, such as increases in weather-related deaths and vector-borne disease;

Commission progress report

111.  Calls on the Commission to report to the European Parliament by 2012 on progress made to implement the above-mentioned White Paper;

o
o   o

112.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ C 247 E, 15.10.2009, p. 41.
(2) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0042.
(3) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2009)0013.
(4) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2009)0089.
(5) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0019.
(6) UNFCCC Draft decision -/CP.15, Copenhagen Accord, FCCC/CP/2009/L.7.
(7) OJ L 140, 5.6.2009, p. 63.
(8) Joint Research Centre – Institute for Prospective Technological Studies: ‘Impacts of climate change in agriculture in Europe. PESETA-Agriculture study’, EUR 24107 EN, 2009.
(9) OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1.
(10) Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1), as last amended by Directive 2008/32/EC (OJ L 81, 20.3.2008, p. 60).
(11) Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive), OJ L 164, 25.6.2008, p. 19.
(12) Review of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (EU SDS), Council document 10917/06.
(13) Convenient Solutions to an Inconvenient Truth: Ecosystem based Approaches to Climate Change , World Bank, Environment Department, 2009, and The Natural Fix? The Role of Ecosystems in Climate Mitigation , UNEP, 2009.

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