Parallel breakout session “The climate crisis”

When you register for the conference you will be asked to choose one of the afternoon breakout sessions A) Economy and the environment, B) Europe in the wider world, C) Democracy, accountability and the rule of law, D) The climate crisis, E) The threat to nature and F) The threat to health.

D) The climate crisis

As the scientific consensus around the reality of climate change strengthens with each new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the time remaining to act in order to prevent irreversible and potentially catastrophic effects is running out, leading some scientists to predict a temperature increase of 4°C by the end of the century without additional measures to tackle emissions. The fact that 60-80% of known fossil fuel reserves will need to stay in the ground if we are to stay within the 2°C limit should stimulate major investment in energy efficiency and renewables, but as long as there is money to be made from fossil fuels in the short term, such investment will only be made to a sufficient degree if the market receives the right political signals. Meanwhile, shale gas has been trumpeted by some as a transition fuel, despite concerns not only about fugitive methane emissions and other environmental effects but also its economic viability. Europe’s 2030 climate and energy policy as well as a new global agreement to be adopted in Paris in late 2015 should provide the trigger for the needed transition, but lessons need to be learned from the experience in Copenhagen in 2009.

This session will address the following questions:

  • With just a year to go before UNFCCC CoP-21, what are the prospects for a meaningful outcome? How can the EU enhance those prospects?
  • What should be the next steps for the EU’s domestic policies in relation to climate change?
  • Has the EU’s approach to tackling climate change to date only been inadequate, or has it also been misguided?

Location: SQUARE breakout rooms - follow signs Date: December 1, 2014 Time: 3:25 pm - 5:00 pm Monica Frassoni Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes Ulf Björnholm Ottosson Tom Burke Mark Johnston