Proposal for Spring Congress

Proposal 601

LYMEC Spring Congress, April 05.-07., 2019 in Brussels

Author: LYMEC Bureau (Antoaneta Asenova)


Status: [  ] accepted [  ] rejected [  ] transferred to: ___________________________

The Spring Congress may decide:

1Resolution on the future of our environment: climate
2change, pollution and looking forward to sustainability

3Resolution on the future of our environment: climate change, pollution and looking forward to

4sustainability

5Archiving Resolutions 6.02, 6.03, 6.05, 6.09

6Noting with grave concern the alarming trends of climate change and environmental deterioration

7in the last couple of decades;

8Regretting that despite the international discussions and commitments taken, the Rio Summit,

9Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement, efforts in achieving sustainability and halting the impact of
10climate change continue to constitute mainly paper promises;

11Acknowledging:

  • 12that according to the European Environment agency, EU greenhouse gas emissions
    13increased by 0.6% in 2017, following a 0.4.% decrease in 2016[1], and by estimates of the
    14Agency a 32 % reduction of EU greenhouse gas emissions could be achieved by 2030,
    15compared with 1990 levels. These projected reductions fall short of the 40 % target for
    162030.
  • 17that human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global
    18warming above pre-industrial levels and Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between
    192030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate[2].
  • 20that maritime transport alone emits around 1000 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is
    21responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, shipping emissions are
    22predicted to increase between 50% and 250% by 2050, depending on future economic
    23and energy developments and direct emissions from aviation account for about 3% of the
    24EU's total greenhouse gas emissions and more than 2% of global emissions. By 2020,
    25the global international aviation emissions are projected to be around 70% higher than in
    262005 and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) forecasts that by 2050 they
    27could grow by a further 300-700%[3].
  • 28that according to analyses by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the UN Food and
    29Agricultural Organization (UN FAO) total contribution of GHG from all agricultural
    30activities on the planet is between 14% to 18%[4].
  • 31that Global warming is a phenomenon witnessed in most land and ocean regions,
    32causing hot extremes in most inhabited regions, heavy precipitation in several regions
    33and the probability of drought and precipitation deficits in some regions[5]. That this poses
    34the rising concern of access to water and food security and climate migration.
  • 35that a publication of the World economic forum[6] reaches the conclusion that policy delays
    36in climate action leads to higher ultimate CO2 concentrations and produces persistent
    37economic damages. A "delay that results in warming of 3° Celsius above pre industrial
    38levels, instead of 2°, could increase economic damages by approximately 0.9% of global
    39output. To put this percentage in perspective, 0.9% of estimated 2014 US Gross
    40Domestic Product (GDP) is approximately $150 billion". These costs would not be
    41incurred as one-time losses but are rather year after year because of the permanent
    42damage caused by increased climate change resulting from the delay in climate action.
    43That the matter of the economic impact of climate change lack of action was already the
    44subject matter of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change published in
    452006, which estimated that the costs and risks of climate change inaction will be
    46equivalent to losing from 5% to 20% or more of the global GDP each year, at the same
    47time the estimate for the annual cost of achieving stabilization of the levels of CO2
    48emissions is amounting to around 2% of global GDP per year.
  • 49that as a consequence of Global warming, the oceans have absorbed much of the
    50increased heat, with the top 700 meters of ocean showing warming of more than 17.5
    51Celcius since 1969[7]. The increasing ocean temperatures affect marine species and
    52ecosystems, causing coral bleaching and the loss of breeding grounds for fish and marine
    53mammals. This also causes more extreme weather events and the loss of coastal
    54protection[8].
  • 55that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA's
    56Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost an average of 286 billion
    57tons of ice per year between 1993 and 2016, while Antarctica lost about 127 billion tons
    58of ice per year during the same time period[9]. The rate of Antarctica ice mass loss has
    59tripled in the last decade.
  • 60that recent research indicates that global sea level rose about 8 inches (20.32 cm) in the
    61last century. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double of that of the last
    62century and is accelerating every year[10]
  • 63that since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters
    64has increased by about 30 percent according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
    65Administration[11]. Τhis increase is the result of emitting more carbon dioxide into the
    66atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the oceans. The amount of carbon
    67dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per
    68year[12].
  • 69that recent research findings indicate that Annual global production of plastics has
    70increased more than 200-fold since 1950. By 2015 cumulative plastic production was
    71more than 7.8 billion tonnes. This is equivalent to more than one tonne of plastic for every
    72person alive today.  Of the global plastic produced over the period from 1950 to 2015:
    7355% straight to landfill, 30% was still in use, 8% was incinerated, 6-7% was recycled. Of
    745.8 billion tonnes of plastic no longer in use approximately only 9% was recycled[13],
    75whereas the global plastic waste in 2010 was 275 million tonnes.  Whereas this leads to
    76severe impact on ecosystems and wildlife.
  • 77that around 90 % of Europeans living in cities are exposed to pollutants at concentrations
    78higher than the air quality levels deemed harmful, having been estimated to reduce life
    79expectancy in the EU by more than eight months[14].

80Whereas:

  • 81the EU committed itself to play a global leadership role in tackling climate change, but
    82needs now more than ever to step up its commitment and lead by example in order to
    83address its impact, as well as marine pollution and sustainable development.
    • 84free individual choices on a functioning market and international co-operation are 
      85fundamental for reaching sustainable development.
    • 86the EU has developed the world's largest company-level scheme for trading in
      87emissions of CO2, creating business opportunities for EU companies for
      88low-carbon goods and services.
    • 89Youth engagement plays an essential role in climate policy, as it is the youth that
      90will have to face the results of the decisions of today.
    • 91insisting on guaranteeing a stronger environmental protection is a long-standing
      92priority for LYMEC.

93LYMEC calls its Member organisations, and the ALDE Party, ALDE Group members of the

94European Parliament and Liberal Prime ministers to insist on:

  • 95an urgent global response, to address climate change with more tangible actions,
    96research and investment to match the commitments made under the Paris Agreement.
    97Europe's leaders should ensure increased international cooperation, diplomatic pressure
    98and staying united on the efforts to tackle climate change, by achieving the targets of the
    99Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, especially as regards to the world's
    100major industrialized countries.
  • 101ensuring a smooth transition to EU's carbon neutral economy by 2050, as
    102envisaged by the European Commission in its strategic plan "A Clean planet for all". We
    103insist on a firm commitment and immediate practical steps to reducing EU's greenhouse
    104emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to the 1990 levels, and reaching net-zero
    105emissions by 2050.
  • 106making sure that all transport models contribute to the de-carbonization strategy.
    107We need a smart organization of the mobility network, increase in Europe's rail capacity,
    108support for the transition to low and zero-emissions vehicles and the appropriate
    109infrastructure for that.
  • 110working towards ending the 65 billion USD (57.5 billion Euro) fuel tax exemption for
    111international aviation
    and a revision of the Chicago Convention as an essential step
    112towards decarbonization.
  • 113promoting sustainable agriculture and targeted investment in alternative farming such
    114as rotations, soil building practices, crop-livestock diversification. Farmers should be
    115encouraged to prevent and control pests with minimal use of chemicals.
  • 116member states to allocate at least 2% of their GDP to environmental policies and
    117investment in climate action;
  • 118introducing realistic, yet high environmental standards as an engine for new
    119technology and innovations
    . Member states need to increase the public and private
    120investment for research and development
    in support of sustainable development and
    121environment-friendly technologies, renewable energy (wind power, solar energy,
    122hydropower), the use of alternative fuels, hydrogen, nuclear power, waste management
    123and fusion energy. In order to adapt to the new realities and required action, it is an
    124imperative for the European Union to support research centers, Universities and business
    125initiatives developing innovations not only in the field of introducing more green energy
    126sources, but also resource-effective circular economy and new, creative solutions to
    127tackle air, sea and land pollution. It is important in that regard, that funding supporting
    128low-carbon research is efficiently allocated under the NER 300 program, and actions
    129under the Strategic Energy Technology Plan and Horizon 2020.
  • 130providing design appropriate incentives to promote green public procurement for the
    131private sector and private individuals to engage in climate-friendly technologies;
  • 132strengthening the European Emission Trading System (ETS) as an investment driver
    133by expanding it to all carbon-emitting sectors, increasing the pace of annual reductions in
    134allowances to 2.2% as of 2021 and reinforcing the Market Stability Reserve. We need to
    135provide support for the industry and the energy sector to meet the innovation and
    136investment challenges of the low-carbon transition through low-carbon funding
    137mechanisms. In addition we want to strengthen the Clean Development Mechanism and
    138prospectively, reach a global emission trading system and a halt in high-carbon
    139investment.
  • 140strive for more ambition in the field of energy efficiency. While we welcome the
    141recent revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive, as part of the Clean Energy package,
    142we insist on a 40 % binding EU energy efficiency target for 2030, annual savings
    143requirement at least 2% to reach the 40% target, and less exemptions provided, in order
    144to achieve EU's climate goals.
  • 145the prioritisation of food security and access to water in EU's global agenda and
    146even considering it as an aspect of the security policy of the Union.
  • 147the food produced in the EU to be sustainable and safe for the environment and the
    148individual. We should also invest in information campaigns on the environmental
    149impact of food production, including energy, water waste and long-distance
    150transportation.
  • 151the EU member states should also prioritise the sustainable use of natural resources, by
    152reducing food and water wastage. Innovative solutions, for example applications and
    153campaigns such as "Too Good to Go", "Zu gut für die tonne" etc., which tackle food waste
    154need to be incentivised and supported both on national and EU level.
  • 155a tangible plan on reducing the use of plastic wrappings and single-use plastics as and
    156transition to a minimized-plastics economy, while taking into account that market prices
    157have a powerful influence on the behavior of individuals and businesses. In order to
    158achieve this transition, a joint effort across industry, NGOs, local, national governments,
    159EU institutions, and our Global counterparts will be necessary. The plastics and
    160plastic-wrapping manufacturing businesses, enjoying access to the free single market of
    161the EU, the municipalities, controlling the after-use and disposal of plastics, the waste
    162collection and processing facilities and consumer organisations should all be involved in
    163the development of standards and incentives schemes for plastics use reduction. The EU
    164should further insist in its international communications and trade negotiations for global
    165standards on decreasing the use of plastics, in favour of the development of new
    166sustainable markets for plastics alternatives.
  • 167that as a matter of urgency, the EU member states focus more on preserving Europe's
    168unique nature and wildlife
    , and Commission respond in cases of severe pressures to
    169environmental conservation such as excessive deforestation and industrial-scale logging,
    170large-scale infrastructure in the vicinity of protected areas, and the encroachment of
    171reserves and national parks by vast tourist facilities. In addition, more attention needs to
    172be paid to the Arctic areas, as their economic importance will grow in the upcoming
    173years.
  • 174increased awareness of sustainable development and climate issues, not just to young
    175people but across generations, as the matter is already high in the agenda for the youth;
  • 176finally, we insist that the EU's leaders come up with a consensus and contingency plan
    177on how to act on the consequences of climate change
    , including natural disasters,
    178climate migration and the projections of its impact, as it is not really in the future, it's
    179already happening.

180 

181 

182[1] https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/indicators/greenhouse-gas-emission-trends-6/asses

183sment-2

184 

185 

186[2] Global warming of 1.5°C - An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C

187above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context
188of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development,
189and efforts to eradicate poverty

190 

191 

192[3] https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/transport/aviation_en,

193https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/transport/shipping_en

194 

195 

196[4] https://www.wri.org/resources/charts-graphs/world-greenhouse-gas-emissions-2000,

197
198www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/wsfs/docs/expert_paper/How_to_Feed_the_World_in_2050.pdf

199 

200 

201[5] Global warming of 1.5°C - An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C

202above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context
203of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development,
204and efforts to eradicate poverty

205 

206 

207[6] Jason Furman, World Economic forum's Council of Economic Advisors – What is the cost of

208delaying climate action.
209https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/02/what-is-the-cost-of-delaying-climate-action/

210 

211 

212[7] Levitus, S., Antonov, J., Boyer, T., Baranova, O., Garcia, H., Locarnini, R., . . . Zweng, M.

213(2017). NCEI ocean heat content, temperature anomalies, salinity anomalies, thermosteric sea
214level anomalies, halosteric sea level anomalies, and total steric sea level anomalies from 1955 to
215present calculated from in situ oceanographic subsurface profile data. NOAA National Centers
216for Environmental Information. doi:10.7289/V53F4MVP

217 

218 

219[8] https://www.iucn.org/sites/dev/files/ocean_warming_issues_brief_final.pdf

220 

221 

222[9] https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7159

223 

224 

225[10]  Nerem, R. S., Beckley, B. D., Fasullo, J. T., Hamlington, B. D., Masters, D., & Mitchum, G. T.

226(2018). Climate-change–driven accelerated sea-level rise detected in the altimeter era. PNAS.
227doi:10.1073/pnas.1717312115

228 

229 

230[11] https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/What+is+Ocean+Acidification%3F,

231https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/Ocean+Acidification

232 

233 

234[12] Sabine, C. L., & et al. (2004). The Oceanic Sink for Anthropogenic CO2. Science, 305,

235367-371,   Copenhagen Diagnosis. (2009). Updating the world on the Latest Climate Science.
23636.  www.copenhagendiagnosis.org

237 

238 

239[13] Geyer, R., Jambeck, J. R., & Law, K. L. (2017). Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever

240made. Science Advances, 3(7).

241 

242 

243[14] https://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/air/intro

244 

245 


Attention: This is a preview! The official text is printed in the proposal book for Spring Congress 05. - 07. April 2019.