The European Union

The European Union
Lesson 9
How is the EU addressing the issue of
climate change?
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Effects on the EU from Climate Change
Some impacts of global warming on the environment:
• Greater threats to marine bio-systems
and loss of habitat
• Waterlogging of lakes and wetlands
• Thawing of glaciers and upward shift of
tree line and increased rock fall
• Reduced ski season
• Increased salinity of inland seas
• Biodiversity losses
• Severe fires in drained peatland and forests
• Increased drought
• Increased land loss in estuaries and deltas
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Effects on the EU from Climate Change
Some impacts of global warming on human activity:
• Increased coastal erosions and flooding
• Increased vulnerability of infrastructure
and urban areas to extreme weather
• Decreased crop yield and suitable crop areas
• Increased land loss in estuaries and deltas
• Reduced water availability
• Less hydropower
• Increased health effects of heat waves
• Increased energy demand in summer
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Climate change – a global challenge
To stop global warming, EU leaders decided in 2007 to:
• reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020
(30% if other developed countries do likewise)
• improve energy efficiency by 20% by 2020
• raise the share of renewable energy
to 20% by 2020 (wind, solar, hydro
power, biomass)
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EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)
• Since January 2005, carbon dioxide (CO2) is a tradable commodity
• ETS places a 'cap' on the amount of carbon dioxide that participating
installations can emit every year
• So far, only energy intensive industries are covered, e.g. steel works,
oil refineries and power stations
• More efficient installations can sell their remaining allowances
• Less efficient installations must face a hefty fine or buy allowances
from others
• The ETS fosters research on greater
energy efficiency and should ultimately
reduce pollution
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EU funded programs include:
• The Intelligent Energy-Europe Program (IEE), with a €730 million
(US$950 million) budget allocated for 2007-2013
• LIFE, the EU’s financial program supporting environmental
conservation projects. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 3115
initiatives, such as:
– Wind technology
– Energy recovery from landfill
– Habitat restoration and recovery
– Biodiversity
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Addressing Global Challenges
Environmental Protection
• A leader in global efforts to protect the
environment, maintaining rigorous and
comprehensive systems at home.
• Plays a key role in developing and
implementing international agreements.
• Executing a “cap and trade” system to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions
• Takes the lead in the fight against global
warming with the adoption of binding
energy targets (cutting 20% of the EU’s
greenhouse gas emissions by 2020).
Source: German Information Center USA
The European Union
Improving Health and the Environment
Pollution knows no borders – EU action has helped bring:
• Cleaner bathing water
• Much less acid rain
• Lead-free gasoline
© Van Parys Media
• Free and safe disposal of
old electronic equipment
• Strict rules on food safety
from farm to fork
• More organic farming
• More effective health
warnings on cigarettes
• Registration and control of all
chemicals (REACH)