Hague: European allies are “no problem” on climate change

William Hague said last week that the climate change policies of his EU allies posed "no problem". New developments suggest that only half of them support him.

At a Green Alliance event last week, William Hague said that the climate change policies of his EU allies posed “no problem”. But new developments suggest that only half of them – including two Conservative MEPs – support his party’s policy.

Answering a question from Left Foot Forward at the Green Alliance event about climate sceptics in the Tory’s new European party, William Hague said:

“You were probably thinking of President Klaus the President of the Czech Republic, who has a very different view from us on climate change. But he is not even a member of his party any more, or of any party. He fell out with his own party and he is not part of that grouping …

“Our Dutch partner in that group was evaluated by Greenpeace as the greenest party in the Netherlands, and in the Netherlands that’s saying something. They’re part of our group so there is no problem over these policies.”

But the Independent reported this morning that:

“In the European Parliament last week, two Tory MEPs, Daniel Hannan and Roger Helmer, voted against a motion calling for the Copenhagen talks to agree an 80 per cent cut in emissions by 2050 – the official Tory policy.

“They were among 18 members of the breakaway European Conservatives and Reformists Group, including its Polish leader Michal Kaminski, to oppose such a deal.”

The roll-call vote of MEPs shows that only 26 of the 54-member ECR voted in favour of the motion. Not a single Polish member voted for the policy. Also voting against were three Czechs and Derk Jan Eppink, the sole Belgian member of the ECR, as well as far-right sceptics including Nick Griffin and Nigel Farage.

Eppink is the Ljist Dedecker (LDD) party in the European Parliament. Their manifesto (p.28) in the recent European elections stated that:

“Europe has seen ice ages when there were fewer humans, and no industry. Some scientists argue that global warming is caused by solar activity, not humans. In short: we do not know. An effective environmental policy is hindered by a theological debate about climate change where a form of eco-fundamentalism prevails.”

Meanwhile, the party praised by Greenpeace for their green credentials have previously featured on this blog. The ECR includes Peter van Dalen a member of the Dutch Christian Union. The party was aligned in the June election with the Reformed Political Party (SGP). The SGP were found in 2005 by a court in The Hague to have violated the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women because, according to the BBC, it refused to allow women to become full members. So no problem then.

UPDATE 17.07

Politics Home is reporting that, “the feeling among most MPs, journalists and other political insiders is that Cameron’s ‘green agenda’ will become progressively less central to his message.”

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