Encouraging innovation and investment in clean technologies will form the major part of the second European Climate Change Programme (ECCP II) to be launched today (24 October).

The Commission will be launching the second European Climate Change Programme (ECCP II) at a stakeholder conference in Brussels on Monday (24 October).

ECCP II follows on from the first European Climate Change Programme of March 2000, which won both plaudits and criticism with the EU trading scheme for CO2 emissions by big industrial plants. The new programme will define future EU policies to mitigate climate change as well as to adapt to its consequences since at least part of it is considered to be unavoidable.

"The recent extreme weather events around the world are consistent with scientific findings about the effects of our changing climate," said EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. "It is high time that we start preparing new measures to limit climate change." The Commission said it wanted the new programme to provide "a strong push for innovation" in climate-friendly technologies and for "the inclusion of all emitting sectors, such as aviation, shipping and road transport" in mitigation efforts. The EU emissions trading scheme will continue to be a major instrument to reduce global warming.