The Alps should become a model climate region
CIPRA, the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps, is calling for an Alpine Convention (AC) action plan on climate protection. CIPRA has sent a letter to this effect to the Environment Ministers of the Alpine countries and the EU, who are meeting in Alpbach/A on 8 and 9 November for the 9th Alpine Conference.
In the case of the Alps the climate changes that have been forecast, i.e. the rise in average temperatures or the increase in extremes of weather, will affect a region that is particularly sensitive. The impact on the environment, society and the economy can already be seen. And still climate protection does not feature in any way in the AC, and of the Implementing Protocols only the Energy Protocol mentions climate change and the relevant precautionary measures.
According to CIPRA the proposed action plan should include not just avoidance strategies but also adaptation strategies and be endowed with concrete measures and binding timelines. CIPRA believes that the Alps with their resources of timber, water, sun, wind and geothermal energy have the potential of becoming a model region for climate protection that easily outperforms the targets set out by the Kyoto Protocol. It also believes that the vast existing potential should be used to save energy. This requires financial policy measures at the national and European level such as the consistent incorporation of external costs in energy costs, which also include the consequential costs of climate change, regulatory provisions such as the stipulation of minimum standards, and support programmes.
CIPRA believes that there is potential for adaptation strategies in the re-examination and compilation of hazard area maps for natural hazards and in the examination of all medium and long-term tourist investments from the point of view of climate change.
At the 33rd Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Alpine Convention held in Innsbruck/A in September the representatives of the AC's contracting parties proved very receptive to the idea of a climate action plan. CIPRA's demands are set out in the form of a resolution, which can be downloaded from www.cipra.org (de/fr/it/sl/en).