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

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A7-0057/2010

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Votes :

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

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2010)0154

REPORT     
PDF 274kWORD 252k
23.3.2010
PE 430.965v02-00 A7-0057/2010

on the Commission White Paper: ‘Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action’

(2009/2152(INI))

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

Rapporteur: Vittorio Prodi

AMENDMENTS
MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
 OPINION of the Committee on Transport and Tourism
 OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Fisheries
 OPINION of the Committee on Legal Affairs
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

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; 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 led to 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 will 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(10);

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, as part of environmental impact assessment, all building permits, licences to operate, changes in land use, urban plans and land-use planning in general take into account different adaptation scenarios;

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 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(11) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive(12), 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(13), 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(14); 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;

0

0 0

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)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2009)0013.

(11)

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).

(12)

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.

(13)

Review of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (EU SDS), Council document 10917/06.

(14)

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.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The main impacts of Climate change can be summarised as fewer rainy days but more intense precipitations, decreased volumes of snowfall, and increased drought periods.

This directly impacts on the geography of land, augmenting soil erosion processes and flood risk, whilst reducing snowfall that, in turn, hampers the ability of underground aquifers to recharge independently. Current practises of water management provide an important demonstration of why we need adapt our approaches towards current resource management. Rain needs to be kept as long as possible where it falls and water bodies should be adapted to increase retention times, due to the increased risks associated with flash floods. River beds have to be managed in a proper way, with waterfalls that result from such management being harnessed for electricity generation. Longer droughts will increase the risk of forest fires. In this case, adaptation will consist of decreasing fire loads by thinning the forest which will, in turn decrease the occurrence and speed of fire outbreak. In fact, an important contribution to the adaptation capability will come from the exploitation of forest and agricultural biomass residuals. Adaptation measures are fundamental in order to confront the dynamic challenges of climate change, whilst also improving the safety and service capabilities of the European Union. Macro-Adaptation is a fundamental undertaking which would allow us to improve our current emergency management systems by combining satellite and ground based observations, for nowcasting of severe events and is linked to mitigation but does not identify with it.


OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (This White Paper, though, is only a preparatory work that aims to give a broad policy framework from which necessary plans and strategies can later be developed. Defined by this intent, our initiative report does not contain specific references on many details on a number of policy areas but outlines a general strategic approach on increasing the resilience of the EU to the impacts of climate change. When the specific policy plans will be elaborated there will certainly be space for a thorough analysis, especially on the financing aspect. Funds, in fact, can be defined only when there is a clear idea of what has to be achieved. The main points of a comprehensive adaptation strategy should be: an emphasis on communication (collecting and distributing data to relevant National and local networks) including a clear understanding of how the adaptation efforts should be shared based on National, regional and local adaptation capacities and their territorial footprint; focus on a good governance structure for a real policy effectiveness; mainstreaming of climate adaptation policy into all other EU policies. The territorial dimension should be an operational dimension, not anymore an objective for such an important policy as adaptation; hence the crucial problem is land management and its coherent planning. Some suggestions to the White Paper point to the necessity to approach the relation between climate change adaptation and human and animal health. Finally, the insurance role will have to be reassessed, in order to face increased risks, by proposing new forms of public - private partnerships.24.2.2010)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on the Commission White paper: "Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action"

(2009/2152(INI))

Rapporteur: Marisa Matias

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

A.  whereas climate change is a global phenomenon, and its impacts are unequally distributed among the regions of the world and the various sectors; whereas even the socio-economic aspects, costs and benefits will be different both in developing countries and more developed countries; whereas responses to climate change therefore have to integrate adaptation measures along with strategies to ensure an effective path towards sustainable development through clear and comprehensive action plans in all relevant sectors,

B.   whereas mitigation of the causes of climate change, on the one hand, and adaptation measures to limit its impacts, on the other, cannot always be separated; whereas recent EU legislative initiatives on labelling of tyres, energy labelling and on energy performance of buildings as part of the energy efficiency package play an important role in cutting CO2 emissions, and also have to be integrated in future interventions for new energetic patterns at EU level,

C.  whereas, according to the revised ETS Directive, Member States should earmark at least 50% of ETS revenues for both mitigation and adaptation measures,

D.  whereas climate change will inevitably have an impact on energy supply, external aspects of EU energy security and demand for energy; whereas weather conditions such as heavy rainfalls, increasing temperatures, heat waves, droughts, severe storms, floods and fires can cause significant interruptions and damage to energy supply infrastructure, therefore directly affecting energy production and transport and distribution to final users,

E.  whereas the diversification of energy sources and distribution channels as well as energy suppliers is an important instrument in guaranteeing equal access to and adequate supply of energy, complying at the same time with the EU objective of enhancing the use of energy from renewable sources and reducing CO2 emissions,

F.  whereas the Commission and the Member States should integrate adaptation measures when implementing and modifying existing and forthcoming legislation, policies and programmes,

1.   Recognises that extreme climate phenomena together with the expected rise in sea-levels and higher variations of rainfall calls for new projects and adaptation measures for their implementation, especially in respect of agriculture and the management of river and drainage basins, even within the existing infrastructure systems which will generate high operational costs, but are nevertheless affordable as they are much lower than the costs of inaction over the medium to long term; calls, however, for the scientific basis for such measures to fulfil the criteria resulting from climate science, with adequate peer review and assessment processes and constant updating of research findings in a transparent manner; calls on the Commission and the Member States to provide, in a dedicated national action plan, information on those costs and their distribution;

2.   Notes that the development of interconnected energy infrastructure and broadband coverage at European level would facilitate adaptation through increased adaptive capacity-building and greater risk-sharing;

3.   Calls on the Commission to provide for a thorough assessment of possible climate change-related risks to critical infrastructure such as energy and telecom networks, which are crucial for the functioning of the internal market;

4.   Shares the view that methodologies for climate-proofing infrastructure projects should be developed as soon as possible;

5.   Notes that, in order to prevent catastrophes, new measures are necessary in all industrial sectors such as increased security and energy-use or energy-production checks which extend existing harmonised standards for construction, such as Eurocodes for approving the use of buildings, including industrial buildings, that have to comply with Directive 85/337/EEC, as amended by Directive 97/11/EC, and Directive 2001/42/EC concerning Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA);

6.   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 renewable energy sources (RES); stresses that the EU must ensure renewable energy sources in accordance with the timetable set out in Directive 2009/28/EC, calls on the Member States to provide by 30 June 2010 ambitious, comprehensive and realistic national action plans according to 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;

7.   Stresses also that, in this connection, 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;

8.   Points out that the EU and the Member States should clarify the amount of their financial contribution to technology cooperation with partners, in the light of the commitments made at the Copenhagen climate conference in terms of the use of ETS auction revenue and fast start financing, in order to enhance both private and public investments in particular in relation to their forthcoming Energy Efficiency National Action Plan and National Renewable Energy Action Plan and welcomes the Commission Communication pledging the essential increase in funds for energy research, in order to develop a sustainable energy economy;

9.   Acknowledges that ongoing climate change has a substantial impact on economic development, and could create risks of major disruption to economic and social activities; considers that economic adaptation measures, including a shift towards more sustainable industrial production, require at the same time sufficient funds to be made available for adaptation and mitigation measures and that these measures must not be restricted to the use of ETS revenues – recalling the commitment under the relevant legislation to dedicate at least 50% of such revenues to climate measures, including adaptation, both within the EU and in developing countries – but need additional innovative funds both from public and private sources; highlights that the funds made available by the various economic recovery plans should also be used for adaptation investments, and should be climate-proofed in any case;

10. Considers that (also in relation to adaptation decisions) impacts on one sector will often have implications for other sectors, and therefore calls on the Commission to take into account these interactions in implementing adaptation measures;

11. Underlines the need to ensure that existing legislation on industrial licensing and environmental impact assessments takes into account the effects of climate change on any planned infrastructure or industrial activity; stresses that, in respect of energy infrastructure, the impacts of climate change should be taken into account both at the level of individual infrastructure items and in relation to national and European energy systems;

12.  Notes that SMEs in many sectors are particularly vulnerable to climate change and often insufficiently prepared; calls on the Commission to assess the level of climate change preparedness among SMEs, including available insurance schemes, and to identify possible tools to help to overcome this problem;

13.  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, including those relating to energy systems and policies; considers that such plans should include risk maps showing energy and industrial 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;

14.  Calls on the Commission to consider the reinforcement of public funds devoted to international cooperation in the forthcoming 8th Framework Programme (FP8), both with

a.    developed countries, to increase the spread of renewable technologies,

b.   developing countries, to support their fight against climate change affecting the most vulnerable regions in their countries, always respecting 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;

c.    third countries adjoining the EU in which the effects of climate change are similar to those observed within the EU;

15.  Underlines that the necessary financial resources for R&D concerning climate change have to be increased; is of the opinion that, particularly in view of the scientific uncertainty surrounding the timescale and extent of the problem and the specific geographical areas and productive sectors that will be affected by the consequences of climate change in Europe, 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; also considers it necessary to increase funding for the Commission initiative to be established with Member States for an integrated and worldwide shared environmental information system in order to improve the availability of data on changes in the environment; since also other measures have to be taken into account such as considerable reinforcement of financing for mitigation and adaptation related to R&D projects and programmes;

16.  Welcomes the recent Commission announcement concerning investment in the development of low-carbon technologies (the SET-Plan), which clearly highlights the fact that the innovative technological developments necessary to achieve the EUs energy and climate policy objectives presuppose immediate cooperation between public investors and the private sector; also points out that the EU roadmap for investment in these technologies must give priority to RES technologies and ensure the involvement of all market stakeholders, especially SMEs, in energy efficiency programmes;

17.  Emphasises the importance of satellite-based services for rescue activities in the event of natural disasters; welcomes in this regard the quick support provided by the GMES system to civil protection authorities after the dramatic earthquake in Haiti; calls on all those involved to make the GMES system fully operational as soon as possible;

18.  Stresses in this context the great importance of initiatives at the local level, such as reforestation and afforestation, in order to actively participate in the fight against climate change and points out the important role of exchange of information on good practices and appropriate information campaigns, e.g. on how coastal and mountain areas, islands and lowlands should adapt to climate change, in coordination with the more extensive initiatives undertaken by national authorities and by the EU with a view to the more effective implementation of Community legislation, strategies and programmes in this area; also points out that outlying regions can make a major contribution through decentralised energy production, helping to achieve greater energy efficiency through reduced grid wastage and better demand management;

19.  Considers that, in order to develop an adequate knowledge base about climate change adaptation and boost the development of adaptation technologies, all existing EU initiatives, such as the creation of Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) on climate mitigation and adaptation under the auspices of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), should be fully exploited;

20.  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;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

23.2.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

43

3

0

Members present for the final vote

Jean-Pierre Audy, Zigmantas Balčytis, Zoltán Balczó, Ivo Belet, Bendt Bendtsen, Reinhard Bütikofer, Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Giles Chichester, Ioan Enciu, Norbert Glante, Fiona Hall, Romana Jordan Cizelj, Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Marisa Matias, Judith A. Merkies, Angelika Niebler, Jaroslav Paška, Anni Podimata, Miloslav Ransdorf, Herbert Reul, Teresa Riera Madurell, Paul Rübig, Amalia Sartori, Francisco Sosa Wagner, Konrad Szymański, Britta Thomsen, Ioannis A. Tsoukalas, Claude Turmes, Niki Tzavela, Vladimir Urutchev, Kathleen Van Brempt, Alejo Vidal-Quadras

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

António Fernando Correia De Campos, Ilda Figueiredo, Yannick Jadot, Oriol Junqueras Vies, Ivailo Kalfin, Bernd Lange, Werner Langen, Alajos Mészáros, Tiziano Motti, Vladko Todorov Panayotov, Silvia-Adriana Ţicău, Hermann Winkler


OPINION of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (1.2.2010)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on the Commission White Paper ‘Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action’

(2009/2152(INI))

Rapporteur: Dominique Vlasto

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Transport and Tourism calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

A.       whereas the transport sector accounts for approximately 27% of EU greenhouse gas emissions and this percentage is increasing,

B.        whereas on 8 and 9 March 2007 the European Council approved the setting of an objective for the European Union of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 by 20% or by 30%, in the event of international agreement, compared with 1990, and whereas this objective cannot be achieved without a strategy consistent with this objective being applied to the transport sector,

C.       whereas climate change is a reality that is largely caused by human activity, the challenge being to bring together all the players involved in a global and sustainable effort to protect the climate, combining prevention, mitigation and adaptation measures, and whereas the policies drawn up for this purpose need to be both sectoral and cross-sectoral,

1.        Regrets the lack of attention paid to the transport sector in the Commission’s White Paper entitled ‘Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action’ (COM(2009)0147) and hopes that the upcoming White Paper on a European future common transport policy up to 2020 will focus on integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation into transport policy;

2.        Draws attention to the fact that the budget resources allocated to fund the measures required by climate change are inadequate;

3.        Calls on the Commission to propose, as part of its second revision of the financial rules for EU-funded programmes, new approaches to transport funding and investments as well as innovative integrated funding instruments related to climate change adaptation, which are crucial to the success of EU transport policies;

4.        Stresses that efforts by the transport sector to adapt will be particularly difficult in the face of climate change and that it is companies in the sector which are at present making the majority of the efforts; considers, however, that efforts by this sector and its companies to adapt must not simply be independent, bearing in mind what is at stake in terms of the competitiveness of the whole of the European economy, and that they must be fully taken into account in the strategic approach to adaptation, in particular by proposing action to increase the resilience of the transport sector;

5.        Considers that the economic, social and financial consequences of the implementation of measures to combat climate change in the transport sector, such as the effects of the reorganisation of this sector (for example, under the impact of modal shift and multimodal transportation capabilities), are still not adequately known or anticipated; stresses that the Commission should develop the collection of data on the development of this sector and define vulnerability indicators and methods for exchanging best practice and experience for its various component parts (road, rail, air and maritime transport);

6.        Recalls the motion for a resolution on the Green Paper on the future TEN-T policy of 22 April 2009, which stressed that climate change and sustainable development should be integrated in the infrastructure policy for all transport modes in order to achieve EU targets for reducing CO2 emissions;

7.        Considers that the TEN-T review should take into account the fact that it should be possible for projects to be adapted to and resist the impacts of climate change;

8.        Stresses that the Commission should evaluate the effectiveness of different modes of transport for the distribution of goods and ways of increasing intermodality between different modes in our cities in a new sustainable urban mobility plan for European cities, based on adapting our cities to the effects of climate change;

9.        Calls on the Commission and Member States to draw up an efficient 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;

10.      Approves the action proposed in order to increase the resilience of physical infrastructure; stresses that such action must cover not only the construction but also the maintenance of infrastructure, including transport infrastructure, and calls on the Commission to incorporate the need to reassess safety and technical standards in the light of new climate impacts into the work programme of Community agencies working in the field of transport safety;

11.      Considers that mountainous areas in the Union will be particularly affected by climate change, which progresses more quickly in these vulnerable regions with an impact on employment, accessibility, land use, tourism and infrastructure, which would have justified providing in the White Paper for specific action to ‘increase the resilience of mountainous areas’; suggests, therefore, that the Commission should draft Community guidelines on adaptation to climate change in mountainous areas, in the context of a general policy on spatial planning in the face of this challenge, insofar as they are particularly sensitive geographical areas like coastal and marine areas;

12.      Calls on the Commission and Member States to implement specific measures to protect coastal areas and the marine environment, in line with the common maritime policy, which takes into due account maritime transport, the protection of the marine environment and the administration and development of coastal areas as part of an integrated approach;

13.      Calls on the Commission to invest in research and innovation for adapting transport and its infrastructure to the effects of climate change and extreme weather conditions, especially in coastal and maritime areas, mountainous regions and earthquake sensitive areas, in conjunction with research to reduce the factors causing climate change, including green car programmes, intelligent transport systems and traffic management systems;

14.      Calls on the Commission and Member States to promote and support the long-term integrated planning of transport and energy infrastructures and land-use planning;

15.      Calls on the Commission, as a matter of the greatest possible urgency, to improve the knowledge and observation of climate impacts through the European Environment Agency, the Joint Research Centre and the European Drought Observatory, making use of new satellite monitoring technologies and intelligent transport systems whenever possible;

16.      Calls specifically on the Commission to pay particular attention to mapping and assessing the impacts in mountain and coastal areas, where it is predicted that the rising temperature and sea levels could bring about significant changes in the tourism sector, on which they rely heavily, and to propose measures where necessary;

17.      Considers that, with regard to instruments and financing, the action proposed in the White Paper is very vague; calls on the Commission to favour modes of financing which are in line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle, for all modes of transport; calls on the Commission to complement the financing for adapting to climate change by mobilising the Structural Funds and some of the appropriations from the European Economic Recovery Plan, and by giving priority to financing solutions to the challenges of climate change in the next financial perspective for the period after 2013, so as to help bring about ‘green’ and sustainable growth, create jobs and support stakeholders in the transport and tourism sector through innovation and research; stresses that all modes of transport have to gradually internalise their external climate change costs;

18.      Underlines that transport policies should be better integrated into other policy areas, especially energy security, water supply, land-use planning, urban planning and public health, in order to achieve a systemic approach to adapting to climate change;

19.      Considers that the Impact and Adaptation Steering Group could provide for Members of the European Parliament working in the relevant parliamentary committees to participate (in particular the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on Transport and Tourism);

20.      Stresses that the Lisbon Treaty will in future allow the Commission to take support and coordination measures in the area of tourism; calls on the Commission to propose measures and action enabling an adaptation strategy specific to the tourism sector to be defined (improving knowledge of climate change, risk prevention policy, and a policy on adapting to the ensuing changes, information for consumers, etc.);

21.      Stresses the need for accessible, detailed and full information for the general public and stakeholders in the transport and tourism sector on the causes and effects of climate change and on the ways in which these effects may alter lifestyles and means of transport, types of travel, the organisation of these sectors, the construction and maintenance of infrastructure and charges for its use, spatial planning and the supply of natural resources; stresses that adequate funding for such information campaigns is essential and account must be taken of the need to adapt these messages to the Member States and their regions.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

27.1.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

31

0

2

Members present for the final vote

Margrete Auken, Georges Bach, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Antonio Cancian, Michael Cramer, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Christine De Veyrac, Saïd El Khadraoui, Jacqueline Foster, Mathieu Grosch, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Werner Kuhn, Jörg Leichtfried, Bogusław Liberadzki, Eva Lichtenberger, Gesine Meissner, Hella Ranner, Vilja Savisaar, Olga Sehnalová, Brian Simpson, Dirk Sterckx, Silvia-Adriana Ţicău, Giommaria Uggias, Thomas Ulmer, Peter van Dalen, Dominique Vlasto, Artur Zasada, Roberts Zīle

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Philip Bradbourn, Petra Kammerevert, Guido Milana, Dominique Riquet

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Marco Scurria


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (1.2.2010)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on the Commission White Paper entitled ‘Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action’

(2009/2152(INI))

Rapporteur: Salvatore Caronna

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Regional Development calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.   Takes the view that climate change is a crucial challenge of our time. It is now clear that it has implications for the environment, human health and spatial planning, and is making it more difficult for all countries to progress towards sustainable development;

2.   Welcomes the publication of the European Commission’s White Paper entitled ‘Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action’; emphasises that climate change presents a challenge with a marked regional impact that calls for a coordinated approach at European Union level, encompassing the various EU policies and levels of intervention: European, national, regional and local;

3.   Takes the view that the impact of climate change varies between sectors and European regions, as shown by the Commission study ‘Regions 2020’(1): the regions under greatest pressure from climate change are those located in southern and eastern Europe, particularly island and coastal regions, the outermost regions and areas with a high risk of water shortages, with a danger that regional disparities will subsequently increase, even among regions in the same country;

4.   Regrets that during the current programming period (2007-2013) the Member States are allocating only 3% (EUR 9 billion) of total funding to measures promoting energy efficiency and renewable energies as part of operational programmes, and that investment in the new Member States is even lower at 2.4%;

5.   Recognises the urgent need to react promptly to global warming, both by taking legally binding measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and by introducing regional adaptation plans and proactive adaptation measures such as widespread reforestation initiatives at European, national, regional and local level, as well as through cross-border cooperation, with a view to limiting the damage;

6.   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;

7.   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;

8.   Notes that sectors of strategic importance to geographically peripheral regions, such as agriculture, should not be shouldered with excessive burdens as part of the framework for action to adapt to climate change, thereby jeopardising the future of sustainable rural communities;

9.   Takes the view that only close cooperation at all levels of governance (the European Union, the Member States and local and regional authorities), together with cooperation and an ongoing exchange of information with countries in the EU’s neighbourhood, will enable the European Union to implement a strategy of transformation towards a low-carbon society;

10. Recognises the need to harmonise the various fields of action, on the one hand by fully involving regional and local bodies at the stages of designing, developing and implementing national strategies and action plans for combating climate change, and on the other hand by harnessing strategic regional planning and incorporating all the factors connected with climate change;

11. Recognises, therefore, the need to ensure, on the one hand, that the adaptation strategy is integrated into European Union policies, with a special focus on the coordination of actions and measures under the EU’s agricultural, regional and environmental policies, and, on the other hand, that these policies are consistent with the adaptation strategy; emphasises the key role played by local and regional authorities and the need for a bottom-up approach taking account of the differences among natural habitats in Europe, in full accordance with the subsidiarity principle; is convinced that local authorities will be better equipped to find political solutions to their own needs;

12. 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; invites the Member States and local and regional authorities to publicise and exchange their practices in relation to all aspects of climate change adaptation policies, particularly measures pertaining to energy efficiency, waste management and the development of low-emission transport infrastructure;

13. Recommends that a climate change monitoring platform be created with a view to helping regional and local bodies to acquire and exchange local experiences and good practices in the climate field;

14. 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;

15. Considers it essential to pursue policies, not least at regional and local level, that make both public and private investment and certain administrative acts (such as planning permission and development plans) subject to a climate impact assessment, so as to encourage EU investment in infrastructure of high environmental quality; 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;

16. Notes that geographically peripheral regions, especially coastal regions, may have an abundant supply of renewable energies which can contribute to their adaptation to climate change;

17. 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;

18. Urges the Commission to use cohesion policy to promote the development of renewable resources, with greater synergies between the areas of research and development and regional development policy, and to remove any administrative barriers to bringing such resources on stream;

19. Welcomes the Commission’s decision to set up an Impact and Adaptation Steering Group (IASG), and calls for local and regional authorities to be fully and actively involved in this group and its procedures, in accordance with the subsidiarity principle;

20. Reiterates that measures to mitigate the effects of climate change may serve as an opportunity to arrive at a sustainable growth model, which could then be adapted to other countries outside the EU, and that the transition to a carbon‑free economy could represent a significant step forward in terms of creating new jobs;

21. Asks the Commission to ensure that the next financial perspective includes sufficient funding to implement effective climate change adaptation policies at all levels of governance; further recommends that the Member States and the regions take into account the possibility of harnessing the mechanisms provided by the structural funds for developing longerterm sustainable projects; emphasises that the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) exists to address urgent needs and to express EU solidarity with affected regions;

22. 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.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

25.1.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

31

8

2

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Luís Paulo Alves, Charalampos Angourakis, Jean-Paul Besset, Victor Boştinaru, Sophie Briard Auconie, Zuzana Brzobohatá, John Bufton, Alain Cadec, Salvatore Caronna, Ricardo Cortés Lastra, Tamás Deutsch, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Elie Hoarau, Seán Kelly, Evgeni Kirilov, Constanze Angela Krehl, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Riikka Manner, Iosif Matula, Miroslav Mikolášik, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Franz Obermayr, Jan Olbrycht, Wojciech Michał Olejniczak, Markus Pieper, Georgios Stavrakakis, Nuno Teixeira, Michael Theurer, Viktor Uspaskich, Oldřich Vlasák, Kerstin Westphal, Hermann Winkler, Joachim Zeller

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă, Ivars Godmanis, Karin Kadenbach, Veronica Lope Fontagné, Elisabeth Schroedter, Richard Seeber, Sabine Verheyen, Iuliu Winkler

(1)

http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docoffic/working/regions2020/pdf/regions2020_en.pdf, (November 2008).


OPINION of the Committee on Fisheries (05.03.2010)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on the Commission White paper ‘Adapting to climate change: towards a European framework for action’

(2009/2152(INI))

Rapporteur: Kriton Arsenis

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Fisheries calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Welcomes the White Paper’s emphasis on increasing the resilience of all ecosystems as an essential defence against the most extreme impacts of climate change;

2.  Reiterates that man-made greenhouse gases have wide-ranging impacts on the complex dynamics of the marine environment and that marine ecosystems already under pressure from pollution, insufficiently regulated, and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing are also being affected by warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, changes in salinity and acidification, possible changes in the circulation of ocean currents as well as the spatial distribution of live aquatic organisms (fish, molluscs, crustaceans etc) and their spread along the water column; moreover recalls that scientific models predict further increases in atmospheric temperature and average sea level and that the most effective way to tackle climate change is a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions;

3.   Recalls that the last century saw a 0.6°C increase in atmospheric temperature and a 0.17 m increase in the average sea level, and that the scientific models used to study these topics predict that these values will continue to rise over the course of this century;

4.   Recalls that the potential impact of climate change may have devastating consequences for some of the more closed European seas, such as the Baltic; notes that some scientific studies forecast an 8-50% fall in the salinity of the water and a 2-4°C rise in its surface temperature, which could destroy a large part of the marine fauna and flora if these forecasts prove accurate;

5.  Points out that rapid depletion of some European fish stocks as a result of human induced pressures upon the environment is eroding the ecological and economic basis of fisheries and is making marine ecosystems more vulnerable to climate change and thus less capable of adapting(1); further points out that the fishing sector must adapt to climate change, whilst respecting the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development;

6.  Notes that climate change, through the rapid reduction in the size of coral reefs and the numbers of calciferous animals, the changes in species’ reproductive cycles and sex ratios, and the acidification of the ocean which it brings about, will further endanger fish stocks(2) and reduce the oceans’ CO2 absorption capacity(3), in turn further increasing the rate of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and speeding up climate change(4);

7.   Points out, likewise, that changes in sea level will cause extreme damage to marine and intertidal ecosystems, affecting sites that are of great importance for primary production, breeding, recruitment and shelter for many species, and thus also damaging fishing, shellfishing and aquaculture activity as well as marine biodiversity; points out, further, that these ecosystems are also vulnerable to changes in water salinity and temperature aggravated by climate change;

8.   Reaffirms that migrations of various marine organisms (fish, molluscs, crustaceans, etc) from one biogeographical region to another may lead to the disappearance of some indigenous species and the invasion of alien species in a given region; notes that these variations may have important consequences for the fishing industry, which may find it difficult to adapt to new biological and economic conditions;

9.  Notes that climate change will have potentially severe economic implications for European industrial and small-scale fisheries; calls therefore for consideration to be given to alternative fisheries management systems and the reduction in the capacity of various segments of the European fleet, with the aim of establishing sustainable fishing and aquaculture practices, adapted to new climate conditions;

10. Highlights the particular vulnerability of fishing ports and aquaculture installations to rising sea levels, since these infrastructures are located along the edge of the coastline; also highlights their economic and social significance; urges the Commission, therefore, to take specific account of them in adaptation and risk analysis measures and to pay careful attention to the economic costs to these infrastructures of failure to adapt to climate change;

11. Notes that small-scale coastal fleets, particularly artisanal fleets, may contribute significantly to the resilience of coastal communities, adaptation to climate change and food security, provided that sustainable fishing practices are applied; points out that investing in more environmentally friendly equipment should be encouraged for all types of fleet; also reiterates the importance of fishing for the social and cultural coherence of coastal communities;

12. Deplores the fact that mature and well-functioning Integrated Coastal Zone Management involving all relevant levels of government is still rarely put into practice(5); strongly urges the Commission to ensure that the Integrated Coastal Zone Management recommendations(6) are updated, reinforced and implemented in the wider context of the Integrated Maritime Policy, bringing together all the sectoral policies linked to the sea and oceans; further stresses the need for close involvement of fisheries, shell fishing and aquaculture sectors in this process, bearing in mind how important these activities are for coastal areas;

13. Strongly urges the Commission to ensure that marine strategies, applying an ecosystem-based approach to the management of human activities, are developed and implemented in order to achieve a good environmental status in the marine environment, as provided for in Directive 2008/56/EC;

14. Calls on the Commission, with this aim in mind, 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 the influence that changes in currents as a result of climate warming have on the movement of certain marine species;

15. Calls on the Commission to lead scientific research into fishery resources in the northern seas, and to promote the sustainable management of fisheries in the area in accordance with the precautionary principle, advocating a moratorium on all new fisheries in the Arctic pending appropriate regulation within the framework of regional fisheries organisations (RFOs);

16. Emphasises that the solution to the serious climate change which we are currently witnessing must primarily be based on the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions and the protection and expansion of natural ecosystems, which are Earth’s most significant carbon sinks, and that the resilience of marine and terrestrial ecosystems depends as much on the preservation of biological diversity as on maintaining adequate populations and their habitats;

17. Urges the Commission to ensure that adequate financing is provided for ecosystem protection and for compensation for the climate-related income losses suffered by fishermen;

18. Considers it necessary to guarantee adequate funding for research which will inform policy decisions in the field of climate change and fisheries and aquaculture; stresses that research as well as subsequent measures should be multidisciplinary in nature, addressing the sum of pressures upon fisheries and aquaculture, including coastal and offshore pollution, industrial and agricultural effluents, alterations to river courses, deep-sea dredging, port activity, maritime transport and tourism, in the context of an integrated and ecosystem-based approach;

19. Urges the Commission to ensure that adaptation through ecosystem resilience should be mainstreamed in the Community’s position in international negotiations on fishing and the marine environment, and most notably in Fisheries Partnership Agreements and RFOs;

20. Calls on the Commission to actively participate in the establishment of a ‘blue carbon fund’ in the context of the UNFCCC; 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;

21.    Stresses that the fishing industry’s capacity to adapt to variations in productivity and recruitment in the various fisheries depends on the following factors:

- fishing capacity being commensurate with the productive capacity of the resource during its lower productivity phases,

- the availability of alternative fishery resources,

- investment in flexible technologies such as ‘multipurpose’ boats and flexible processing chains,

- the availability of alternative livelihoods during lean periods(7).

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

23.2.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

15

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Josefa Andrés Barea, Kriton Arsenis, Alain Cadec, João Ferreira, Carmen Fraga Estévez, Carl Haglund, Isabella Lövin, Guido Milana, Maria do Céu Patrão Neves, Crescenzio Rivellini, Ulrike Rodust, Struan Stevenson, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Ole Christensen, Ioannis A. Tsoukalas

(1)

Green Paper on Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (COM(2009)0163).

(2)

FAO, Technical paper 530 (2009) ‘Climate change implications for fisheries and aquaculture’.

(3)

Sea carbon intake capacity fell by 10% between 2000 and 2007.

(4)

‘Blue Carbon: the role of healthy oceans in binding carbon, UNEP, FAO and IOC, 2009.

(5)

Communication from the Commission - Report to the European Parliament and the Council on evaluation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in Europe (COM(2007)0308).

(6)

Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2002 concerning the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe, OJ L 148, 06.06.2002, p. 24.

(7)

FAO (2007): Adaptation to climate change in agriculture, forestry and fisheries: Perspective, framework and priorities.


OPINION of the Committee on Legal Affairs (9.3.2010)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on the Commission White Paper ‘Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action’

(2009/2152(INI))

Rapporteur: Eva Lichtenberger

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Legal Affairs calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas adaptation to climate change could have a bearing on all EU policy areas, requiring reliable data as to the scope and extent of the necessary modifications,

B.  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,

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

D. whereas the global character of climate change, and its social and economic consequences, should force the European Union to support those countries which are most vulnerable and least developed,

E.  whereas the success recorded to date by some Member States in cutting greenhouse gas emissions should be taken into account when establishing commitments for subsequent periods,

1.  Stresses the need for easily available and easily understandable reliable data concerning climate change, its impact and possible adaptation measures; supports the Commission proposal to facilitate the exchange of information and research results through an appropriate IT mechanism and database;

2.  Emphasises that the existing environmental acquis (such as the Birds Directive(1), the Habitats Directive(2), the Water Framework Directive(3) and the Floods Directive(4)) needs to be fully implemented in a coherent way across the EU; welcomes the Commission’s intention quickly to develop guidelines in order to incorporate adaptation needs into the application of that acquis; 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;

3.  Considers that responsibility for making environmentally sound investments should be shared by all Member States and stakeholders; calls on the Commission to consider presenting appropriate proposals for incorporating adaptation to climate change into the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive(5) and the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive(6); suggests that a climate check should be made part of EU-financed infrastructure projects as soon as possible;

4.  Believes it is necessary, in view of the relative failure of the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change, to step up efforts to ensure that necessary support is provided to developing countries for their adaptation needs, over and above official development assistance (ODA) and the 0.7% target;

5.  Stresses that revenue from the auctioning of allowances under the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS), including auctions for the aviation and maritime transport sectors, should be earmarked for assisting Member States in adapting to climate change, in accordance with the solidarity principle;

6.  Takes the view that the Seventh Framework Programme currently in progress and future research programmes should give priority to conducting research and financing technological development in states incurring high adaptation costs;

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

8.  Stresses that investing in a low-carbon economy and promoting energy efficiency and environment-friendly production must not result in greater development disparities between the Member States.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

8.3.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Luigi Berlinguer, Sebastian Valentin Bodu, Françoise Castex, Marielle Gallo, Klaus-Heiner Lehne, Antonio Masip Hidalgo, Jiří Maštálka, Alajos Mészáros, Bernhard Rapkay, Evelyn Regner, Francesco Enrico Speroni, Alexandra Thein, Cecilia Wikström, Tadeusz Zwiefka

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Sergio Gaetano Cofferati, Kurt Lechner, Eva Lichtenberger, Toine Manders, József Szájer

(1)

Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds, OJ L 103, 25.4.1979, p. 1.

(2)

Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora, OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7.

(3)

Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1.

(4)

Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks, OJ L 288, 6.11.2007, p. 27.

(5)

Council Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, OJ L 175, 5.7.1985, p. 40, as amended by Directives 97/11/EC and 2003/35/EC.

(6)

Directive 2001/42/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment, OJ L 197, 21.7.2001. p. 30.


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

16.3.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

49

3

2

Members present for the final vote

Elena Oana Antonescu, Kriton Arsenis, Pilar Ayuso, Paolo Bartolozzi, Sergio Berlato, Nessa Childers, Chris Davies, Esther de Lange, Anne Delvaux, Bas Eickhout, Edite Estrela, Jill Evans, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Elisabetta Gardini, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Julie Girling, Nick Griffin, Satu Hassi, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Dan Jørgensen, Karin Kadenbach, Christa Klaß, Jo Leinen, Corinne Lepage, Peter Liese, Kartika Tamara Liotard, Linda McAvan, Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Miroslav Ouzký, Vladko Todorov Panayotov, Antonyia Parvanova, Andres Perello Rodriguez, Pavel Poc, Vittorio Prodi, Anna Rosbach, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Horst Schnellhardt, Richard Seeber, Theodoros Skylakakis, Bogusław Sonik, Anja Weisgerber, Åsa Westlund, Glenis Willmott, Sabine Wils, Marina Yannakoudakis

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

João Ferreira, Christofer Fjellner, Matthias Groote, Judith A. Merkies, Michail Tremopoulos, Giommaria Uggias, Anna Záborská

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Markus Pieper

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