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Wednesday, 21 May 2008 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Scientific facts of climate change: findings and recommendations for decision-making (debate)

  Agnes Schierhuber (PPE-DE).(DE) Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, I would also like to start by expressing my warm thanks to our rapporteur for his work. The report – as the previous speakers have said – relates entirely to the scientific facts concerning climate change, which were discussed in detail with world-renowned experts during the thematic meetings.

The agriculture and forestry sector is one of the industries hardest hit by climate change and therefore has a strong interest in effective climate protection measures being adopted at global level. The involvement of all countries, especially the developing countries, in the post-Kyoto process is essential. It is also important to underline that agriculture is by no means a driver of food prices: in the price of a bread roll, for example, the wheat used to make it accounts for less than 2% of the costs.

It is also well-known that renewable resources for crop-based fuels do not release any more CO2 than was stored during their growth, which means that they are indeed CO2-neutral. It has also been recognised, on the basis of sound research findings, that humans are partly responsible for climate change. For that reason, it is important to conduct more intensive research as well as to save energy through more efficient use. Let us take heart from the fact that it took 3 000 years for it to be accepted that the Earth is a globe and not flat.

May I appeal to this Parliament to engage in serious debate which recognises that climate change is a global problem; it is a macrosocial problem which cannot be resolved by means of sectoral policies in individual EU Member States. A solution can only be achieved worldwide, and the European Union should certainly take a leading and mediating role in combating climate change.

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