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News European water strategy urgently needed

The Swedish Minister for the Environment, Andreas Carlgren, today presented the Swedish Presidency's programme and priorities to the European Parliament's Environment Committee. At the centre of the debate were the preparations for the upcoming UN climate summit in Copenhagen in December this year, where a global agreement on a follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol must be reached. "We welcome the change in US climate policy as brought about by the Obama administration. Nevertheless, the European Union must remain at the forefront when it comes to an efficient worldwide fight against climate change", said the EPP Group Spokesman and Coordinator in the Environment Committee, Austrian MEP Richard Seeber, on behalf of the largest political group in the European Parliament.


"Copenhagen must achieve binding and obligatory goals to reduce CO2 emissions. But these goals must not only be binding for the large industrial nations alone. We must also fix binding targets for both developing and emerging countries like China, India or Brazil. Moreover, we have to couple the targets with an effective sanctioning mechanism", demanded Seeber. In order to reach the adopted targets, transfer payments to developing countries will be necessary, but a functioning technology transfer would be even more important. "Just sending money does not work. The European Union should focus on technology transfer. This would be more effective in fighting climate change and it would give the European economy a strong fighting chance on the global markets", underlined the EPP Group Environment Spokesman.


Seeber also called on the Swedish Presidency to support his demand for developing a European Water Strategy: "Climate change is mostly affecting the water situation around the world. Droughts and floods are increasing. The next EU Commission has to tackle this challenge and elaborate a comprehensive strategy. But it is imperative that such a strategy reflects the different needs and situations of regions both in Europe and the world. The water situation in Austria is vastly different to those in Spain or Finland. In looking further to Africa or Asia, the need for a strategy with a high level of regional differentiation becomes clearly visible", concluded Seeber.


Contact information Richard Seeber MEP, Philipp M. Schulmeister , EPP Group Press Service
Phone: +32-2-2845468 / +32-475-790021
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information EPP Group
Keyword(s) climate change, water strategy
Geographical coverage EU
News date 01/09/2009
Working language(s) ENGLISH