Below:José ManuelDurão Barrosopartnerships like water quality and use, resource-efficient use of raw materials and development ofsubstitutes, unleashing the bio-economy, andaccelerating the number of "smart" cities.Of course, innovation does not happen in a vacuumand at EU level we need to create the right frameworkconditions. I would just pick out a couple of exampleswhere we want a clear signal from the EuropeanCouncil. We believe the time has come forgovernments to set aside dedicated budgets fromexisting money for public procurement of innovativeproducts and services. This should create aprocurement market worth at least ?10 billion a yearfor innovations that improve public services. Secondly,we urgently need to improve access to finance. We arelooking to put in place an EU-wide venture capitalscheme and establish the conditions for an EU-wideknowledge market to be created. Here we are workingwith the European Investment Bank to scale up EUschemes like the Risk-Sharing Finance Facility, whichGLOBAL VOICES121has leveraged investments from the private sectorworth over 40 times what the EU budget has put in.The idea here is to create a fund of funds that caninject large amounts of funding for priority projects. Getting better value for money also means cutting red-tape, so that EU-funded scientists can spend more timein the lab and less time with red tape, because wecannot attract the most brilliant scientists and mostinnovative companies with an incoherent set of fundinginstruments, with complex and bureaucratic rules.Simplifying the Framework Programme is one of our toppriorities and we would like a good cooperation with the Council and the Parliament for that purpose. nThis is an edited version of the remarks delivered byJosé Manuel Barroso, President of the EuropeanCommission, during the orientation debate on energyand innovation in Brussels, on 5 January 2011. Formore information on President Barroso's engagementsvisit: www.europa.eu.
ombating the causes of climate change,and reducing our greenhouse gasemissions, remains a global policypriority. But we know that we are going toface some of the consequences of change anyway,come what may. And in preparing for those, we havetwo choices. We can wait for absolute certainty on theextent our environment might change or we can act nowon what we do know to prepare our homes andcommunities for what is likely to happen. In a world where some countries confront reducedpublic and private sector finances, and others focus onthe need for immediate improvement in impoverishedliving standards, encouraging people to adapt now forsuch an uncertain future is a hard sell. Over the past decade, England and Wales haveexperienced severe weather-related incidents that haveimpacted severely on thousands of people. Whether ornot these weather events can be directly attributed tothe first vestiges of human induced climate change isa moot point; but the experience of living throughflood, drought, coastal erosion, and water shortagesgive us a good understanding of what is likely to comemore frequently in the future. Despite being a prosperous country and well preparedfor "natural disasters", the severity of these effects onpeople's homes, livelihoods, and sadly sometimeslives, ensures the UK Government pays seriousattention to the need to prepare for climate change.The Environment Agency could quite easily be calledthe "Adaptation Agency". Our core work is supportingpeople where their lives and the environment meet. Weexpect these interactions to be more difficult with theadded pressures of a changing climate. We work withcommunities to manage the risk of flood and coastalerosion, help maintain sufficient water for drinking,recreation, industry, agriculture and the naturalenvironment and work to ensure that biodiversity andthe use of natural resources are balanced sustainably. Looking back over the past decade and forward to thedecade ahead, there are three main issues that willoccupy our efforts in adapting to climate change:Firstly, managing flood risk. Our priorities with floodrisk management have been to increase awareness andreadiness among communities about their flood risk;to build better flood defences in high-risk areas; tohelp communities find their own solutions; to providebetter prediction and early warnings of severe weather;and to ensure fewer developments are built in floodprone areas.Secondly, adapting to coastal erosion and rising sea-levels. Our approach has been to determine whichsections of coastline are most at risk from sea-levelrise, increased storminess and erosion; to work withcommunities to agree plans; to prevent erosion wherewe can but to accept that in some places preventingerosion is physically and economically unsustainablealong over 3,500 miles of coastline.Thirdly, in addressing water resource concerns we haveneeded to find a balance between the needs of peopleand the environment; to prevent over-abstraction ofwater from rivers through licensing; and to promotewater efficiency across business, industry, agriculture,and in new developments.Research suggests that floods in England and Wales could become more frequent due to heavier,tropical-style downpours of rain, with the potential ACTING NOW,PREPARINGFOR THE FUTURE122GLOBAL VOICESCRT HON LORD CHRIS SMITH, CHAIRMAN, ENVIRONMENT AGENCYRight:Rt Hon Lord Chris Smith