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Procedure : 2006/2650(RSP)
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Document selected : B6-0543/2006

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PV 25/10/2006 - 15
CRE 25/10/2006 - 15

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PV 26/10/2006 - 6.11
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Thursday, 26 October 2006 - Strasbourg Final edition
Nairobi Conference on Climate Change

European Parliament resolution on the European Union strategy for the Nairobi Conference on Climate Change (COP 12 and COP/MOP 2)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC and to the application procedures for its implementation adopted at the Conferences of Parties in Bonn (July 2001), Marrakesh (October and November 2001), New Delhi (October and November 2002), Milan (December 2003), Buenos Aires (December 2004) and Montreal (November and December 2005),

–   having regard to the forthcoming twelfth Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the UNFCCC and the second Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 2) to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 6 to 17 November 2006,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions regarding climate change, and in particular those of 16 November 2005 on 'Winning the Battle against Global Climate Change'(1) , of 18 January 2006 on the outcome of the Montreal Conference (COP 11-COP/MOP 1)(2) and of 4 July 2006 on 'Reducing the Climate Change Impact of Aviation'(3) ,

–   having regard to Oral Question B6-0440/2006 by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety tabled pursuant to Rule 108 of its Rules of Procedure and having regard to the statements by the Council and the Commission,

–   having regard to the latest scientific findings, including recent reports on the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, the Arctic perennial sea ice and the permafrost in Siberia, as well as new findings on the extent of sea-level rise caused by climate change,

–   having regard to the Finnish Presidency's published priority on forests,

–   having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas full implementation, by all Parties, of the UNFCCC and of the Kyoto Protocol is fundamental for tackling climate change, even though the measures will not be truly effective until a global solution is found which includes the large economic blocs responsible for the bulk of polluting emissions,

B.   whereas the eleventh Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the UNFCCC and the first Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 1) meeting in Montreal in November and December 2005 decided to initiate a process to consider further commitments by Annex I Parties for the post-2012 period and to engage in a dialogue to exchange experiences and analyse strategic approaches for long-term cooperative action on climate change, establishing a UNFCCC workshop on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries,

C.   whereas new technologies will be essential for tackling climate change in a cost-effective manner with a new focus on increased energy efficiency,

D.   whereas further targets need to be set soon in order to avoid climate change running out of control and to provide sufficient incentives for rapid investment in the further development and installation of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, and whereas investment in energy infrastructure which is incompatible with climate policy targets must be avoided,

E.   whereas greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase in many Member States, showing that strong action, redefined measures and new initiatives are needed for the European Union to be able to meet its Kyoto obligations,

F.   whereas the contribution of aviation to climate change is substantial and growing rapidly while international aviation is not subject to any commitment arising from the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol,

G.   whereas the latest scientific evidence suggests that limiting warming to +2°C might not be sufficient to secure the UNFCCC goal of avoiding dangerous climate change,

H.   whereas in its above-mentioned resolution of 16 November 2005 the European Parliament stated that strong emission reductions – 30% by 2020 and 60-80% by 2050 –are to be undertaken by developed countries,

I.   whereas 24% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2005 were due to burning of forests and the latest scientific evidence from Amazonia demonstrates the impact of the reduction of forest cover and the weakening of the 'forest pump' on the climate, leading to the increased intensity of hurricanes originating from the southern North Atlantic and a reduction in rainfall in southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina,

J.   whereas Council Conclusions will also be drawn up on the EU's preparations for the forthcoming session of the United Nations Forum on Forests, which will, it is hoped, approve a global forest protection instrument,

K.   whereas energy security and climate security must go hand in hand, and whereas Europe's energy and climate security depend to a large extent on the choices made by large economies such as China and India; whereas climate change mitigation can only be effective if developing countries – in particular large and rapidly-growing economies such as China and India – are actively involved in efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions,

1.  Urges the European Union to maintain its leading role in the negotiations at the COP 12-COP/MOP 2 Conference in Nairobi, and to maintain a high level of ambition in future discussions with its international partners;

2.  Insists that on that occasion the European Union put forward an ambitious agenda for the discussions on further commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol, for the new discussions regarding the review of that Protocol, and for the UNFCCC dialogue on long-term cooperative action;

3.  Recalls that, as set out in its above-mentioned resolution of 16 November 2005, the EU strategy on climate change should be based on a seven-pronged approach:

   building on key Kyoto elements – binding greenhouse gas emission targets, a global cap and trade system and flexible mechanisms,
   undertaking strong emission reductions of 30% by 2020, with a view to achieving a reduction in the order of 80% by 2050, by using a combination of market incentives and regulation to stimulate investments in efficiency and carbon-free and low-carbon technologies,
   adopting a pro-active approach to engage other main actors, in particular the United States,
   developing a strategic energy partnership with countries such as China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico to financially assist them in developing sustainable energy strategies benefiting from carbon-free and low-carbon energy sources and thereby securing their participation in climate change mitigation efforts,
   vigorously promoting research and innovation for sustainable energy technologies by facilitating best practice exchange between the Member States as well as universities, research centres and industry, and removing "perverse" incentives such as fossil fuel subsidies, as well as internalising external costs, including those of climate change, into the price of energy production,
   using European and national legislation to stimulate greater energy efficiency and reduce the price of technology which reduces climate impact,
   encouraging much greater direct involvement in mitigation efforts at the level of the citizen, through awareness-raising campaigns, a necessary prerequisite being the provision of detailed information on the carbon content of products such as cars, aircrafts, houses and services and a future option being a system of personal tradable quotas;

4.  Recalls its request that there should be no gap between the first and the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and that the end of 2008 should be the time limit for reaching agreement on future climate commitments;

5.  Recalls its support for the continuing use of flexible mechanisms, and for the long-term goal of a global carbon market based on cap and trade;

6.  Calls on the Parties to COP 12-COP/MOP 2 to address the climate change impact of international aviation and calls for a discussion on a global tax on flights at the upcoming negotiations at the COP 12-COP/MOP 2 Conference in Nairobi;

7.  Considers that industrialised countries must continue to play a vital role in tackling climate change at world level; calls, therefore, on Annex I Parties to meet their existing commitments and to take on ambitious targets for a second commitment period after 2012; calls, moreover, on those industrialised countries that have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol to reconsider their position, to take vigorous domestic measures and to play an active role in future international negotiations, with a view to their participation in the future climate change regime;

8.  Stresses that economic development is a right for all developing countries; emphasises, however, that developing countries do not have to repeat the polluting practices of the industrialised countries, and calls therefore for increased attention to be paid to technology cooperation and capacity building in the field of sustainable energy;

9.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to make access to efficient and low-carbon energy technologies a priority within EU development cooperation;

10.  Emphasises the key importance of engaging the rapidly industrialising developing countries in a future international climate change regime, while fully respecting their vital concerns about promoting their economic development and fighting poverty;

11.  Welcomes the work of the UNFCCC Workshop on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries, most recently at its meeting in Rome from 30 August to 1 September 2006, and notes the broad agreement achieved on the need for payments for eco-system services and urges the rapid inclusion of avoided deforestation, as a contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol;

12.  Notes that Africa and other developing regions should be able to participate in the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions and that international negotiations should include incentives to avoid deforestation; furthermore, calls on Member States to engage in sustainable clean development mechanism forestry projects;

13.  Believes that in order to effectively tackle climate change global climate policy needs to create a level playing field for industry, thus encouraging innovations and energy efficiency and avoiding carbon leakage; suggests therefore, that global performance standards and targets be created for different activities, including consumer products and transportation at global level;

14.  Stresses that the impact of climate change upon society must be better understood; calls on the Commission therefore to examine how to best organise workshops – in Europe and elsewhere with relevant stakeholders such as citizen groups, industry, farming communities, security experts and economists – to better understand the consequences of climate change in more detail;

15.  Insists that individual Member States, and the European Union as a whole, live up to their existing commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and the burden sharing agreement, since the EU's leading position in international talks will be undermined if this cannot be achieved;

16.  Believes that the EU delegation plays an important role in these negotiations on climate change, and therefore finds it unacceptable that the members of the European Parliament part of that delegation were unable to attend the EU coordination meetings at the previous Conference of the Parties; expects the European Parliament participants to have access to such meetings in Nairobi, on the basis at least of observer status, with or without speaking rights;

17.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, with the request that it be circulated to all non-EU contracting parties.

(1) Texts Adopted , P6_TA(2005)0433.
(2) Texts Adopted , P6_TA(2006)0019.
(3) Texts Adopted , P6_TA(2006)0296.

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