Scenes of desertification and dried-up rivers may become more common following warnings from climate scientists that 2007 could be the hottest year ever.
Global warming is one of the factors that has prompted the EU to draw up an energy plan that aims to steer the bloc’s 490 million people towards renewable sources of power.
The European Commission is expected to call next week for what it describes as “a new industrial revolution” to protect the environment.
Just before Christmas the EU proposed including all flights within Europe in the carbon emissions trading scheme from 2011 and then, in 2012, extending it to international flights that arrive or depart from a European airport.
At the moment EU nations generate 94 per cent of their energy from traditional, non renewable sources.