Mitigative and adaptive measures

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Mitigation measures in or affecting coasts and marine areas are discussed in these comments. These mitigative measures can include renewable energy production, low carbon energy, energy conservation, bio-energy and bio-fuel production, and carbon minimization and sequestration.

The distinction and interaction between adaptation and mitigation measures is not always clear. For example, an energy policy designed to mitigate carbon, such as energy and agricultural policies encouraging bio-fuels, could have the inadvertent effect of intensifying eutrophication and climate interactions; or alter land uses, reduce wetlands and thus result in additional emissions of carbon dioxide (carbon), methane and other greenhouse gases.

It is important to recognize that while the emphasis in coastal and marine areas in Europe is primarily for adaptation given impacts such as sea level rise, coastal erosion and extreme weather events; there will be important opportunities for carbon minimization and carbon sequestration which could be considered in tandem. For example, there are links between adaptive management strategies for agriculture and carbon minimization, and choosing strategies with a lesser carbon footprint. There could also be the reduction of energy uses and substitution of renewable energy for hydrocarbons in agricultural production, harvesting and processing.

Carbon sequestration opportunities could be available for coasts, wetlands, forests, agricultural and pastoral lands throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. One possible approach could be to develop model carbon minimization and sequestration opportunities, with academic, scientific and commercial support, and using the latest understanding of carbon sequestration sciencen qnd strategies.

By expanding markets for carbon sequestration and reductions in agriculture and other land and water uses, there will be an opportunity for small and subsistence farmers, other land users, and conservation interests and managers throughout the developed and developing world to participate in and benefit from carbon markets.

Currently, the share of such projects in the carbon market is limited by the rules and regulations under the Kyoto Protocol and the EU Emissions Trading System. However parties are promoting land uses and carbon sequestration with the objective of demonstrating that these project activities are important to the growth of the carbon market, thus modifing the current rules and regulations under the Kyoto Protocol and the EU Emisions Trqding System which exclude a large portion of the developing world from gaining access to the carbon market.

As part of the EU green paper on adaptation of climate change within Europe and the overall European Climate Change Program II, the EU could also consider modifying its approach to carbon sequestration, credits and markets to allow credits to be allocated for aquatic, coastal, and land uses within Europe and internationally that sequester carbon, methane and other greenhouse gases.

The EU could also actively support and encourage these changes globally through international climate negotiations, such as the negotiations in Bali on the UNFCCC in December 2007 and aid and funding policies.