The Arctic is warming at more than twice the rate of the earth as a whole. Since 1979, Arctic warming has reduced summer sea ice by more than 40 percent, and many climate models now predict that all sea ice will disappear by 2030 or sooner. To put this in perspective, the amount of sea ice lost from 1980 to 2007 would cover half of the European Union.
A delegation from the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy that included The Hon. Catherine Trautmann (MEP–France), Vice-Chair and The Hon. Giles Chichester, Member of the Committee, along with The Hon. Jonathan Evans (MEP-UK), Chairman of the Delegation for Relations with the U.S. discussed the effectiveness of the European ETS as well as transatlantic cooperation on energy and climate change issues. Participants included James Slutz, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy and Angelos Pangratis, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Commission. There was a consensus that although there are problems with the current ETS, it does work and it is a positive initiative toward developing new technologies.
The Hon. Paolo Costa (MEP-Italy), Chairman of the Transport Committee and members of the Committee discussed the status of the EU-U.S. Aviation Agreement (also known as the Open Skies Agreement), the inclusion of aviation into the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), and aviation security issues. U.S. participants included Michael Scardaville, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Policy and International Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Paul Gretch, Director of the Office of International Aviation, U.S. Department of Transportation.
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