United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

European Union

Fourteenth Session, New York, 01 ? 12 May 2006
Delivered version, 04 May 2006
Inter-linkages between Climate Change and sustainable development
· Climate change is a serious and long term challenge with the potential to affect every
part of the globe. It has the potential to set back many years of international
development and seriously undermine poverty reduction efforts. In some regions,
climate change may prevent achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
· We face a serious and linked challenge in tackling climate change and air pollution.
The EU believes it is all but impossible for us to talk about these links without also
talking about the links with energy and industrial development.
· We need to enhance synergies between and to take an integrated approach to
climate change and energy objectives, recognising that strategies to invest
worldwide in cleaner and more sustainable energy services can support a range of
objectives, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving the global
environment, enhancing energy security and competitiveness and cutting air
pollution. We need to do this in a way which supports our vigorous efforts to
eradicate poverty.
· Education, as a cross-cutting tool, could support this integrated approach, focussing
on substantial aspects as for example on energy saving and reduction of GHG
emissions. Training and capacity building could support new skills and knowledge in
terms of energy efficiency, e.g. young people at every stage of their education must
be informed about the challenges of a sustainable energy policy. Therefore,
countries are encouraged to include energy-related topics, in the context of
sustainable development, in the education curricula.
· Work within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is key for
limiting the impacts of green house gas emissions and climate change and
consequently for global sustainable development. The EU is implementing its climate
change commitments under the UNFCCC and strongly believes that climate friendly
policies can be implemented in a cost-effective manner now and in the future, if we
ensure a global response and use flexible mechanisms such as those provided for
under the Kyoto Protocol.
· The Kyoto greenhouse gas reduction regime is vital for achieving our overall
objectives in a viable global economic system. The costs of inaction and related
effects on economies severely impact on developed and developing countries alike.
In order to promote informed national decision-making processes and to build human
and institutional capacities in partner countries for the implementation of the
UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, the EU has developed an Action Plan on Climate
Change and Development Cooperation.
· The global mean surface temperature should not increase beyond 2°C above pre -
industrial levels. Recent scientific research and work under the IPCC indicate that
keeping this long-term temperature objective within reach will require global
greenhouse gas emissions to peak within the next two decades, followed by
substantial reductions in the order of at least 15% and perhaps by as much as 50%
by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.
· To achieve this, a joint global effort is required, with economically more developed
countries taking the lead to significantly reduce global emissions of green house
· Without prejudging new approaches for differentiation between Parties in a future fair
and flexible framework, the EU believes that, in this context, reduction pathways for
the group of developed countries in the order of 15-30% by 2020 compared to the
base years used in the Kyoto Protocol, and by 2050, in the spirit of the Conclusions
of the March 2005 (Environment) Council, should be considered.
· However, the developed countries that presently have commitments inscribed in
Annex B and have ratified the Kyoto Protocol will not be able to combat climate
change effectively on their own. These countries accounted for only about 30% of
global emissions in the year 2000. Today?s 25 Me mber States of the European Union
accounted for 14% of global emissions in 2000. This share is expected to decrease
substantially over the coming decades. A broader strategy for global measures,
involving both developed and developing countries, is required. Such a strategy
should include more research and innovation, energy policy reforms and the
development and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency
· The EU believes that climate change and energy strategy development must be
closely linked. A key priority for the EU is to give a firm signal about the medium and
long term direction of EU policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the
continuing role of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in delivering emissions cuts
beyond 2012.
· We welcome the World Summit Outcome commitment to support developing country
efforts to implement comprehensive national development strategies, which include
sustainable natural resource management. It will be important for climate change,
including mitigation and adaptation measures, to be integrated into these strategies
· This CSD cycle provides the opportunity for us to look at why we?re not meeting this
objective. It also provides an opportunity for us to agree what more needs to be done
to implement our energy, climate change, air pollution and industrial development
commitments in an integrated way which can lead us to our end goal of sustainable
· Adaptive capacity resides in people?s livelihood strategies and supporting policy,
legal, institutional and organization context, and should, therefore, be built into the
development process. This ensures that adaptation efforts are focused on reducing
the risk of climate change impacts on a country?s national development priorities, as
set out in their Poverty Reduction Strategy or equivalent.

· This mainstreaming of climate risks into national development policies ensures
consistency between adaptation and national development objectives such as
poverty eradication. Separation of the two runs the risk of adaptation policies
inadvertently conflicting with development and poverty policies, or conversely,
development policies inadvertently increasing vulnerability to climatic conditions.
Appropriate entry points for integrating adaptation to climate variability and climate
change into development co-operation activities need to be identified, including in
country assistance strategies, sectoral policy frameworks, Poverty Reduction
Strategies, long-term investment plans, technical consultations and sector reviews,
as well as strategic and project-level environmental impact assessments.
· Both adaptation and greenhouse gas emissions mitigation are required to respond to
climate change. These measures are needed within both developed and developing
countries, consistent with the ultimate objective and principles of the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).