Thursday, April 2, 2009

European Commission Publishes White Paper on EU-Related Climate Change Adaptation Strategies

The European Commission has published a white paper, "Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action."
The white paper, which proposes various policy-related measures, reflects the European Commission's view that, "The earth's climate is changing and the impacts are already being felt in Europe and across the world." The white paper presents "the framework for adaptation measures and policies to reduce the European Union's vulnerability to the impacts of climate change."
The European Commission, in presenting the white paper, said, "Adapting to climate change will be integrated into all EU policies and will feature prominently in the Union's external policies to assist those countries most affected."
European Commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas said, "The seriousness of climate change is becoming greater and more disturbing withi each passing year...It is therefore essential that we start work now with governments, business, and communities to develop a comprehensive adaptation strategy for the EU and to ensure that adaptation is integrated into key EU policies."
Despite the EU's leadership on climate change (e.g., adoption of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme), not everyone in the "green lobby" is satisfied with the steps the EU has taken. Tony Long, director of the European Policy Office for the WWF, said, "We are particularly concerned for a potential water crisis across Europe, whereby southern countries will suffer from reduced supplies and other regions will face increased extreme weather events and floods. Why isn't action taken now? How much longer do we have to wait?"

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