Over 40 presidents and leaders of liberal youth organisations from across Europe gathered from 4th till 7th October in Copenhagen, Denmark, to discuss a liberal response to climate change.
Young liberal leaders agreed that climate change represents today a serious threat that demands an urgent global response. Besides its vast human and environmental impact, climate change is also predicted to cause great economic damages that can be only avoided by early preventive action.
In the joint declaration unanimously approved during the event, the young liberal leaders call on the EU and national European governments to:
1) Take on a firm commitment to achieve at least a 20% reduction of GHG emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 and 70% by 2050 within an international agreed framework;
2) Include more sectors, including transport (aviation, road, maritime) and agriculture, in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme;
3) Persuade all major world emitters (including the US, China and India) to commit to a legally binding pollution-cutting scheme, notably by incorporating where relevant environmental considerations into global trade rules and by further developing the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM);
4) Make sure that at least 1% of their GDP is devoted to environmental policies and investments;
5) Develop consumer awareness about climate change issues through appropriate campaigns;
6) Increase public and private research and development in support of sustainable development technologies, notably renewable energy (wind power, solar energy, hydropower), bio-fuels, and hydrogen, as well as in the field of nuclear waste management and fusion energy;
7) Consider nuclear power as one of the options available for alleviating the risk of global climate change and reducing GHG emissions and further develop non-electrical applications of nuclear energy (such as heat, potable water and hydrogen production):
8) Design appropriate incentives (e.g. tax reduction, eco-labelling) for the private sector and private individuals to invest in new climate-friendly technologies and solutions;
9) Avoid that biofuels production lead to deforestation and food shortage by adding a development sustainability criteria to biofuels imports and production;
10) Adapt policies to deal with the impacts of climate change, adopting a multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary approach, and promote green public procurement.