Climate Protection

Climate protection is a top priority under the European Union’s environmental policy – climate change is the most far-reaching global environmental problem. The EU is and intends to remain a world leader in activities connected with the protection of our planet’s climate.

As indicated by the studies of climatologists (e.g. the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC) and of economists (e.g. the conclusions of Sir Nicholas Stern’s team or the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development – OECD), opting for a strategy of benign neglect would bring about numerous negative, irreversible changes in the climate, requiring huge financial costs to cope with in the aftermath. The European economy and society would mainly be affected by hydrological changes. Representatives of three successive Presidencies – France, the Czech Republic and Sweden – have agreed that climate protection will be a key priority.

During the Czech EU Council Presidency, the two basic subjects of negotiations in this field are:

1. talks with other partners around the world concerning the agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, replacing the Kyoto Protocol after 2012;
2. consultations on climate change adaptation measures, which have become a widely discussed topic on the international stage.

In the course of the Czech Presidency of the EU Council, one of the most visible political themes in Europe will be negotiations on commitments after the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period, in particular negotiations with the US and other countries on their reduction commitments and whether they will join the system – continuing the negotiations after the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali (December 2007) and in Poznan (December 2008).


In December 2007, at the thirteenth conference on climate change in Bali, parties to the UN Framework Convention adopted a roadmap hailed as a breakthrough decision. The roadmap succeeded in harmonising the opinions of all parties concerning the future direction to be taken within the international climate protection policy. Under this roadmap, world negotiations should climax at the fifteenth conference of the parties to the Framework Convention in December 2009 in Copenhagen, where a new agreement on the adjustment of the regime and on reduction commitments should be adopted following the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period in 2012.

Adapting to climate change

As for adaptation issues, the European Commission published a Green Paper on adapting to climate change in June 2007. At the end of 2008, the European Commission presented a White Paper on the way towards the European programme on adapting to climate change. The Czech government believes that a significant reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions is important and that it is further necessary to introduce appropriate, effective adaptation measures to lessen the negative impacts of climate change. Adaptation is a globally important theme and will be discussed during the Czech Presidency.

Last update: 16.8.2011 16:01

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