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Objectives of this Report

It is increasingly clear that the international climate negotiation process has a critical role to play to highlight the dangers of climate change in the public eye, but also to elevate the issue on the political agendas of all governments.

National governments give priority primarily to short-term and short-sighted day-to-day policy making, endeavouring to address budget shortfalls, reverse growing unemployment, and to solve both present and future problems on the basis of resource-intensive philosophies and approaches of former times. This is further exacerbated by the fact that many scientists continue to warn governments against the „panic-mongering" about global warming on the basis of unanswered questions in climate research. They argue that the so-called scientific uncertainty justifies the continuation of „business as usual".

In light of the 3rd Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 3) held in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997, the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation has commissioned the Wuppertal Institute to assess German, European and international climate policy and to develop proposals for a more effective climate protection strategy. These recommendations contained in this study have been directed towards the Kyoto Conference. Nevertheless, they can also be taken up in other fora regardless of the outcome in Kyoto.

This study is based, in part, on a survey of current literature, as well as ongoing observation and participation in the international climate negotiations. In the interest of brevity and general comprehensibility, it was decided not to include all the various arguments that have been raised in the international negotiations. The aim of this study is rather to highlight the potential for new directions to be taken in both German and European climate policy.

The executive summary contained at the beginning of this study, summarizes the principal arguments and policy recommendations. The following three chapters discuss in more detail: climate protection as an economic modernization strategy; the opportunities for international climate policy; and the specific recommendations needed to chart a new direction in German and European climate policy.

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© Friedrich Ebert Stiftung | technical support | net edition fes-library | Februar 2000

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