Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Greater focus required on climate change

12 May, 2005

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún today supported a resolution in the European Parliament today which calls for a greater focus on the issue of climate change and calls for the EU to put forward proposals for a future strategy building on the Kyoto Protocol.

The report by Anders Wijkman was adopted by the European Parliament today and was backed by both Sinn Féin MEPs. A Seminar of Governmental Experts will meet later this month to promote 'effective and appropriate responses to climate change'.

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms de Brún said:

"The EU has an important role to play in bringing progressive responses to combating climate change. Some work has been carried out but much more needs to be done. A recent report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) warned that the region is warming more quickly than the rest of the world with potentially devastating consequences.

"I welcome the reports call for the European Commission and the Member States to present at the forthcoming Seminar of Governmental Experts, proposals which are consistent with the EU objective of maintaining the average global temperature increase below 2°C above pre-industrialisation levels.

"Globally we need to prioritise a plan to cap concentrations of critical greenhouse gases. Setting more ambitious targets requires a real commitment and will require major changes to the manufacturing process; to the way that energy is generated, and to our collective lifestyles.

"The over-developed world has a particularly important role to play, as it disproportionately contributes to world pollution and negatively impacts upon climate change. I welcome the assertion that post 2012, global emissions should be reduced by half by 2050, in order to contain global warming- this is an objective which we should all be actively working towards. However, words and promises need to be converted into concrete actions and plans.

"I would also reiterate the calls for those countries which have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol to do so as soon as possible; and call on the US and Australia to reconsider their decision not to participate and, as a first step, to respect their commitment under the UNFCCC to reduce their emissions to the 1990 level. A much greater effort is required by individual countries and industry to reverse and stabilise the negative effects of climate change." ENDS

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