Wednesday

25th May 2022

Barroso sees 'dramatic' climate change in Greenland

  • "We need to do more. The situation is very dramatic," Mr Barroso said (Photo: Wikipedia)

Climate change is the most important political issue in the European Union, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said after a visit to Greenland to see the effects of global warming first hand.

"We need to do more. The situation is very dramatic," Mr Barroso said according to Danish daily Politiken.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"Greenland is without doubt one of the areas on the planet which are most affected by climate change," he added, while explaining that it was essential for him to see the effects of warming with his own eyes.

Greenland – a self-governed Danish territory - is the world's largest island of which 81 percent is covered by the Greenland ice sheet.

Mr Barroso was invited by Greenland premier Hans Enoksen and Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to survey the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier - a UN heritage site - in Ilulissat on the west coast of Greenland.

The glacier is melting at an alarming speed, according to scientists, leading to longer summers which means that hunters and fishermen from Ilulissat only have four to five months to go fishing and hunting on the ice compared to eight months just a few years ago.

"It is important for me to have a direct contact with the local societies where climate change affects their way of life and economic income. It is very different from reading the well-researched briefings I receive and now I can go back to Brussels and continue my fight for a more ambitious policy fighting climate change," the commission chief told the Ritzau news agency.

Mr Barroso said he hoped the main elements of a new treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, could be agreed upon at a UN climate summit in Bali, Indonesia, in December.

"It is evident we will not succeed without binding targets and global commitments," he said.

The European Commission will on Friday (29 June) come out with a Green Paper on "Adapting to Climate Change in Europe - Options for EU Action."

The draft document warns that unless there is advance planning, European countries will be left to respond "to increasingly frequent crises and disasters."

These "will prove much more costly and also threaten Europe's social and economic systems and its security," says the paper, according to the International Herald Tribune.

It concludes that "each European citizen will be affected one way or another and the widest possible involvement of all members of society is needed."

France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June

EU Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis said on Tuesday that Poland's recovery plan could be approved within a week. This could also help unblock Warsaw's reluctance to agree to the tax deal.

Opinion

Orbán's overtures to Moscow are distasteful and detrimental

Some Western European politicians are reviving the chimera of a negotiated settlement. None of this makes the current, half-hearted approach towards sanctioning Russia look better — nor does it shed any favourable light on the cravenness of Hungary's current government.

Opinion

Orbán's overtures to Moscow are distasteful and detrimental

Some Western European politicians are reviving the chimera of a negotiated settlement. None of this makes the current, half-hearted approach towards sanctioning Russia look better — nor does it shed any favourable light on the cravenness of Hungary's current government.

Column

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is back

Ukraine is finally understood — and hopefully Belarus will be soon too — as a self-standing society and state with close links to its EU neighbours, rather being relegated to Russia's backyard.

News in Brief

  1. France 'convinced' Ukraine will join EU
  2. Von der Leyen: Russia hoarding food as 'blackmail'
  3. Legal action launched against KLM over 'greenwashing'
  4. Orbán refuses to discuss Russia oil embargo at EU summit
  5. Turkey's Erdogan snubs Greek PM
  6. ECB: Crypto may pose a risk to financial stability
  7. UK PM Johnson faces renewed questions over Covid party
  8. Sweden gives 5th Covid shot to people over 65, pregnant women

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. Orbán oil veto to deface EU summit on Ukraine
  2. France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June
  3. 'No progress in years' in Libya, says UN migration body
  4. Toxic pesticide residue in EU fruit up 53% in a decade
  5. Orbán's overtures to Moscow are distasteful and detrimental
  6. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is back
  7. EU aims to seize Russian assets amid legal unclarity
  8. Close ties with autocrats means security risk, Nato chief warns

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us