Friday, May 3, 2013

European commission launches climate change strategy

Martin Banks in the The European commission has launched a strategy designed to help member states "better prepare" for the impact of climate change. Launched at a conference on Monday, the three-pronged initiative aims to "enhance the preparedness and capacity" of responding to global warming.

The conference in Brussels was told that failure to take "adaptation" measures could result in 26,000 extra deaths a year from heat by the 2020s, rising to 89,000 deaths a year by 2050. The 'adaptation to climate change' documents, adopted by the commission, aims at contributing to a more "climate resilient" Europe.

The strategy will boost the ability to respond to the impacts of climate change at local, regional, national and EU levels, and it will develop a coherent approach and improved coordination, it was said.

One of the keynote speakers at the conference was Connie Hedegaard, European commissioner for climate action. She said: "Cutting the world's greenhouse gas emissions must remain our top priority in order to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and avert dangerous climate change.

"But the adverse impacts of the changing climate are increasingly evident today in Europe. Adapting to these changes is one of the most fundamental challenges for territorial development in Europe." She added, "Our strategy will help decision-makers in Europe to choose the best solutions to the benefit of their citizens. This will stimulate growth and jobs and prevent potentially high human, economic and environmental costs later on."...

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