„Europe needs to intensify actions to adapt to climate change impacts“ – klare Worte der European Environment Agency. Für eine wirkliche Veränderung sind noch sehr viele und einschneidende Maßnahmen nötig.
Doch es passiert zu wenig und auf der politischen Ebene findet die tatsächliche und konsequente Weichenstellung noch nicht statt. Einige der eher neuen Mitgliedsstaaten der Europäischen Union – Polen, Ungarn, Bulgarien, Slowakei – mauern hier aktiv. Deutschland bekleckert sich hier ebenfalls nicht mit Ruhm wo es beispielsweise die partielle Aufweichung der Regelungen zum europaweiten Emissionshandel unterstützt (s. Artikel von Germanwatch).
Mit offenen Augen Richtung Abgrund könnte man in dem Zusammenhang denken – aber das Problem der globalen Verantwortungdiffusion liegt unter anderem darin, dass der Abgrund noch ein Stück zu weit weg ist. Zurück also zum Bericht der European Environment Agency der den Abgrund ein wenig plastischer darstellt. Hier ein paar der Ergebnisse:
- Global average temperature has increased almost 0.8 °C above pre-industrial levels, with even higher temperature increases in Europe and northern latitudes.
- Annual precipitation changes are worsening differences between a wet Northern part of Europe and a dry South, with some Mediterranean regions receiving 20% less rain than a century ago.
- According to satellite observations, global sea level has increased up to 3.1 mm/year in the past 15 years.
- Uncertainty in the rate of melting of Greenlands outlet glaciers makes projections of future sea level rise uncertain. Sea level rise can cause coastal flooding, coastal erosion and increased risk of salt water intrusion that could damage coastal ecosystems and wetlands.
- The reduction in Arctic sea ice has accelerated: in September 2007 the minimum surface was only half the normal minimum measured in the 1950s. Arctic species such as seals, whales and polar bears are under threat.
- Glacier retreat in Europes mountain systems, and the changes in temperature and precipitation, will have widespread consequences. Projections show an overall increase of river floods across Europe but an increase in river droughts in the South.
- A northward movement of certain fish species 1000 km in the past 40 yearscan have adverse effects on fisheries, such as reducing cod stocks in the North Sea.
- Spring phytoplankton blooms in lakes are now occurring up to one month earlier than 30-40 years ago, which may favour harmful cyanobacteria threatening human health and ecosystems.
- Plants, birds, insects and mammals are moving further north and uphill. By the end of this century, plant species may have shifted several hundred kilometres to the north and up to 60 % of mountain plant species may face extinction.
- The agricultural growing season is now longer, especially in the North. Although this may favour the introduction of new crops, crop yields will become more variable because extreme weather events are projected to increase.
- Increasing water demand for agriculture in the Mediterranean region will lead to unsustainable competition for water with tourism and households.
- The growing season of forests is also changing and the danger of forest fires will increase in southern Europe.
- Human health is also significantly affected by climate change. The 70,000 excess deaths reported from 12 European countries in 2003 could be an example of health impacts to come. Climate change increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather events. Projected future effects of heat-waves, floods and droughts, worsening air pollution and changes in vectors and plant distribution are likely to harm the health of many people, if global warming is unconstrained. Health system will need to be strengthened and action will need to be taken for particular vulnerable people, like the elderly, children or disadvantaged populations.
Hier der volle Bericht http://reports.eea.europa.eu/eea_report_2008_4/en/
Nach dem Blick in die Zukunft ein Blick auf die Gegenwart und einige der Mitverursacher. Im Rahmen des Carbon Disclosure Projects sind für 2008 die ersten Ergebnisse erschienen. Hier ein paar Highlights:
„Carbon disclosure and climate change reporting is becoming increasingly critical for investors to fully assess their risks, liabilities and opportunities within their portfolios. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has published the results of the Global500, S&P500 and FTSE350 companies that disclosed their activities. The CDP initiative, now in its sixth year, provides investors with a unique analysis of how the worlds largest companies are responding to the challenge of climate change. Over 380 institutional investors sign up to CDP, with combined assets under management of $57 trillion. The reports provide real insight into how companies track their carbon footprint and consider the risks and opportunities of carbon on their business. It also shows how companies compare against their industry peer group and who is leading the field.“
- European and North American companies set the pace in reporting carbon activity
- Carbon intensive sectors performed slightly better in most aspects of disclosure
- 74% of respondents reported that they have emissions reduction targets in place
- Carbon intensive companies now account for 44% of Global 500 population, up from 40%
- 90% of FTSE100 companies responded to CDP – the highest of any CDP sample in the world
- A significant increase in respondents (50%) reported indirect emissions, such as business travel
- 85% of respondents point to general opportunities arising from climate change
- FTSE 350 companies represent 22% of the Global 500 Carbon Disclosure Leaders Index
Hier alle Reports: