Climate Change

The earth's climate is changing. The research and new scientific predictions assert that global climate change has begun and is expected to continue. This is now evident from observations of increases in the average temperature of the air and oceans worldwide, extensive melting of snow and ice and raise of the average height of the sea surface (IPCC, 2007).

To limit the upcoming climate change and reducing its impact, a UN convention-framework for climate change was signed by 154 countries and the European Union in June 1992 in Rio, during the Summit on Environment and Development. Greece ratified the Convention on the Law 2205/1994 (Government Gazette 60/A/15-4-1994).

The convention did not set legally binding obligations but the basis for further action in the future by setting out the general principles and procedure for subsequent adoption commitments, mainly through regular meetings of the States Parties. The Convention provides for all States, recognizing common but differentiated obligations and the existence of national development priorities, the following:

  1. developement, regularly update and publish national inventories of anthropogenic emissions using comparable methodologies,
  2. publication, revision and implementation of national programs to address climate change,
  3. adaptation of policies and measures aimed at restoring the emissions of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2000 for the States listed in Annex I of the Convention (developed countries). The contract enables this objective to be achieved by each Member individually or jointly with others.

Under the procedures laid down by the Convention, in the Third Meeting of the Parties (Kyoto, December 1997) adopted a Protocol to the Convention, known as the Kyoto Protocol. The Protocol aims to reduce overall emissions by at least 5% in the five years 2008-2012 compared to 1990 levels. To achieve this, developed Nations - Parties to the Protocol are required to ensure that their emissions, for 6 total gases will not exceed the limits set by this Protocol in Appendix B. The Protocol entered into force in 2005 and provides three (3) mechanisms by which countries participating in the international effort can achieve emission reductions. These mechanisms are Emissions Trading, Joint Implementation projects and Clean Development Mechanisms. At EU level, emissions trading began in 2005 with the creation of a system for trading greenhouse gas emissions.

Η Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 (L 275 / 25.10.03) for establishing a system for trading greenhouse gas emissions in the European Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC , adopts the Community emission allowance trading scheme of greenhouse gases in order to better fulfill the obligations of the European Community and the member - states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In conjunction with other policies and measures, emissions trading is treated as an important part of the EU strategy to implement the commitments of the EU. The EU trading scheme began January 1st, 2005 and covered only emissions of carbon dioxide from large stationary sources (as specified in Annex I of the Directive). The first phase was completed in 2007 while the second relates to the period 2008-2012. The third phase covers the years 2013-2020 and includes, apart from the fixed installations and airlines that meet the criteria of Annex I to Directive.

AXON has produced a significant number of projects dealing with inventories of greenhouse gas emissions at country level, and strategy formulation and proposals of measures to address the impacts of climate change (especially at regional and local level).