Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-01-10-Speech-1-073"

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"Mr President, the world’s climate has been undergoing natural change for millions of years. Most of the scientists quoted over recent months believe that the additional influences on our planet’s climate result from people and, above all, their emissions of carbon dioxide – possibly, or so they claim, from precisely 3% of the total emitted. It is today’s younger generation and the generations of the future that will be most affected by climate change of this kind. On the basis of what we know at present, we have to be careful, reducing worldwide CO2 emissions both by making more efficient use of energy and relying even more on renewable energy sources and nuclear power. There is just one statistic I would like to quote on this: in the course of 2004, nuclear power stations saved the world some 2.5 billion tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions. That is twice as much as was agreed in the Kyoto targets for the period from 2008 to 2012. Let me repeat: twice as much. How much reliance, though, can we place upon what we currently know about climate change? Is it indeed the case that human beings are the cause of additional change? Do the 3.5% of CO2 for which the human race is responsible really have an effect? To what degree is climate influenced by the varying intensity of the sun’s radiation? Water vapour is a greenhouse gas; what effect does that have? What else influences our climate? If the earth’s temperature rises, is it a result of a higher concentration of CO2 or is the reverse the case? None of this do we yet know for sure. Although many models suggest that the greenhouse effect is man-made, they have yet to produce final proof of it. We do, as I have said, have to be careful and reduce CO2 emissions by as much as possible. At the same time, though, we must, as a matter of urgency, invest more in climate research and also support those researchers whose approach is not in line with mainstream opinion. If we are, for mankind’s sake, to be able to take the right decisions as soon as possible and on the basis of solid data, then we need a broad spectrum of opinion. If we have reliable data, we will be able to persuade other states to take the same approach as we do."@en1

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