European Commission Launches Climate Change Programme

United Kingdom
The EC has just published 2 documents which outline Europe's Climate Change Programme. A Communication outlines the EU's policies and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At the forefront, it is revealed that the EU will focus on the forthcoming 6th Conference of the Parties (COP6) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in November, aiming to reach agreement on the outstanding issues from the Kyoto Protocol, namely flexible mechanisms and compliance. Immediately after COP6 the EU intends to start the political process on ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. The second document published, a Green Paper on emissions trading, sets out one pillar of the EU's climate change strategy. The Paper is a insultation exercise aiming to inform the Community and clarify a much misunderstood instrument. The Paper makes a strong case for EU involvement in future missions trading schemes, a move which has angered environmentalists who feel emissions trading will not encourage emissions reductions at source within the Community. Environment Commissioner, Margot Wallstrom however claimed that emissions trading will ensure that emission reductions will be made where they are cheapest and hence is the most cost-effective incentive. The documents are available at www.europa.eu.int/comm/environment/whatsnew.htm. For further information on this topic, please contact Verity Kidd at vqk@cms-cmck.com or on (+44) 02(0) 7367 3182.