Press release: Who pays for climate catastrophe?

My speech from the conference: klimatkonf_speechJensHolm.rtf

Below our press release. 


Brussels, 14-06-2007

Responsibilities and burdens – who pays for climate catastrophe?
“Climate change is the great survival issue of our time” said Jens Holm MEP today during the GUE/NGL conference “Climate Change and Developing Countries – Who Pays the Price?”

“Climate change clearly and unfortunately manifests itself in natural catastrophes: desertification, rivers drying up, forest fires and floods. These disasters have their most profound effects on those that lack the resources to protect themselves: the countries of the south. At the same time, it is clear that it is the countries of the north that have created the problem,” he stated.

Irish GUE /NGL MEP Bairbre de Brún chaired the first part of the conference. She emphasised the necessity to ensure the economic development of developing countries while guaranteeing that the same mistakes are not repeated.

Presenting the main findings of the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “Climate Change 2007”, meteorological expert Professor Erland Källén of Stockholm University showed scientific evidence of temperature and sea level changes during the 20th century and put forward projections on future CO2 concentrations, sea-ice melting and precipitation levels.

Focusing on the current and possible future impacts of climate change on Africa, General Secretary of Climate Network Africa, Grace Akumu, considered the injustices of climate change and the findings of the IPCC Africa region report.

“The drying up of rivers will have a terrible impact on Africa, especially when one takes into account the fact that in Kenya, 70% of the country’s electricity comes from hydro-power. Industrialised countries are looking for cheaper ways to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through market-driven mechanisms that marginalise African countries,” she said, calling for the implementation of the polluter pays principle and for a ‘Clean Development Mechanism’ investment fund for Africa.

Vice-President of the Parliament’s climate change temporary committee, Italian GUE/NGL MEP Roberto Musacchio welcomed the “wealth of perspectives” at the conference and centered his intervention on the important role played by the Kyoto agreement but stressed the need to turn our attention to the post-Kyoto scenario. He criticised the G8’s undermining of the agreement and the lack of response to the fact that the countries enduring most of the suffering caused by climate change are the least developed. This, he said, was the real “moral dimension” of the argument.

The conference continues this afternoon from 15.00-18.30 in the European Parliament (room: ASP1G3) with further discussion and contributions from academics, campaign groups and MEPs.

Gianfranco Battistini +32 475 64 66 28
David Lundy +32 485 50 58 12
The GUE/NGL (European United Left/Nordic Green Left) Group is made up of forty-one MEPs from sixteen parties in thirteen European countries.
Le Groupe GUE/NGL (Gauche unitaire européenne/Gauche verte nordique) est composé de 41 députés issus de 16 partis politiques de 13 pays européens.