Climate sceptic Tory MEPs will send us sleepwalking towards disaster

David Cameron’s pledge to spur the EU into taking tougher climate action was dealt a massive blow today when Tory MEPs helped kill off emissions cut proposals.

Martyn Williams is a senior parliamentary campaigner at Friends of the Earth

David Cameron’s pledge to spur the European Union into taking tougher climate action was dealt a massive blow today when Tory MEPs helped kill off a proposal that would have boosted the move to a low carbon future.

MEPs were asked to vote on a proposal to strengthen EU climate action by agreeing to unilaterally cut the bloc’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2020. But the proposal was torpedoed when an amendment that severely watered it down – by making the 30 per cent target dependent on international climate action – was narrowly passed, with the support of 16 Tory MEPs.

Faced with a weak and worthless proposal the MEP who originally proposed the motion urged colleagues to reject the amended version, which they duly did. When he came to power last year David Cameron promised to lead the ‘greenest government ever’.

Action on climate change would be a priority – including a coalition agreement pledge to support an increase in the EU emission reduction target to 30 per cent by 2020. But since then the prime minister has remained largely silent on the issue.

He must do more to convince the nation and his party that the scientific consensus on the urgent need to slash emissions is overwhelming – and failure to act is playing fast and loose with our future.

He must do more to highlight the enormous economic benefits that developing a low carbon economy will bring. Hundreds of thousands of jobs could be created by developing the nation’s huge renewable energy potential and by cutting energy waste. This is why more than 70 of Europe’s leading firms lobbied in favour of a 30 per cent cut in EU emissions.

And he must do more to take real action on this issue.

Last week the Committee on Climate Change warned that the government was dragging its heels on meeting UK climate targets. Climate change is one of the biggest threats the planet faces. But unless the prime Minister – and our top politicians – start to show real leadership on this issue we’ll continue to sleep walk towards disaster.

17 Responses to “Climate sceptic Tory MEPs will send us sleepwalking towards disaster”

  1. Andy S

    Climate sceptic Tory MEPs will send us sleepwalking towards disaster: http://bit.ly/jCOZVS writes @wwwfoecouk's Martyn Williams

  2. LadyRoisin

    Climate sceptic Tory MEPs will send us sleepwalking towards disaster: http://bit.ly/jCOZVS writes @wwwfoecouk's Martyn Williams

  3. Eleanor Besley

    RT @leftfootfwd: Climate sceptic MEPs will send us sleepwalking towards disaster http://t.co/IrXxNKA

  4. Benjamin Addy

    RT @leftfootfwd: Climate sceptic MEPs will send us sleepwalking towards disaster http://t.co/IrXxNKA

  5. Michael

    -Climate sceptic Tory MEPs will send us sleepwalking towards disaster – http://tinyurl.com/66bskax

  6. Pucci Dellanno

    Climate sceptic Tory MEPs will send us sleepwalking towards disaster: http://bit.ly/jCOZVS writes @wwwfoecouk's Martyn Williams

  7. Leon Wolfson

    And hundreds of thousands of people will have to, in the remainder of this decade, “voluntarily” disconnect their gas and electric because of the extortionate bills being demanded by the “green” agenda of this government. Funny how that never gets considered.

    But no, more wind power, when it’s not really a power generation source, but a source of credits for pollution!

  8. mr. Sensible

    Leon, the reason for energy bills going up is what the energy companies are doing; increased bills and increased profits.

    And I’m afraid you’re wrong on wind power.

  9. Leon Wolfson

    I’m afraid you have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to renewable energy then. Generators have been rated at providing massively more power than they actually do, and at colder peak times can actually USE UP energy.

    Energy Companies have been quite clear that much of the raises in recent years have been the cost of meeting the “green” agenda of renewables. While The Register’s Andrew Orlowski is a rude and irritating writer, he is quite clear that the “green” power business in the UK has little to do with the climate agenda.

    But no, keep on pouring money – vastly above market rates – into inefficient projects, it’s the poor who will end up not being able to afford power. (Or worse…I know some rural friends are saying that diesel generators for limited power are nearly viable with energy bills as it stands!)

  10. Tory MEPs block EU vote to lower carbon emissions by 30% – The Guardian

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  11. Northern Worker

    Leon is right – we’re struggling with our energy bills because of the green stealth tax. The stealth tax is so rich people with wind turbines and solar cells can be paid extortionate amounts of money. We really have to stop all this climate change nonsense before UK energy is so expensive that poor people start dying or we all lose our jobs because enrgy is too expensive here.

  12. Robert

    I suspect in the near future when this planet we live on gets sick of the itch it will scratch, and we will not have to worry about food or power.

    The planet only has limited resources and we are eating them up, in my area this year no bee’s not a single butterfly.

    It’s in front of you and you cannot see it.

  13. Leon Wolfson

    Northern Worker – I call for nuclear power as the solution to climate change, which I certainly believe in. Funding non-commercially viable forms of power generation is simply the wrong way to do it.

  14. yyxhjdsn

    Leon, you are talking out of your hat.

    Wind turbines are rated as the maximum power they can provide instantaneously. The actual power they provide over a year is about 25% of the maximum (the load factor).

  15. Leon Wolfson

    I know precisely what I’m talking about…it’s the 25% figure which is a massive overstatement.

    Evidence shows this, but I’m sure you’re not having any of THAT nonsense now.

  16. Martyn Williams

    It’s a huge fallacy to pretend that we have a choice between going green or keeping our bills as they are. Bills are going up whatever way we go on the environment, and the increases people are feeling now are predominantly because of fossil fuel price increases.

    So we could scrap all our energy saving and investment in alternatives, and hope those prices don’t keep increasing (and the climate sceptics are right) but could end up massively dependent on fossil fuel from russia and the middle east the whole nightmare that the rising and volatile prices would bring. Or we could invest in reducing reliance on these, and give ourselves a more predictable, stable future energy price.

  17. Cameron ditches “Vote blue go green” and tells BP: ‘Drill, baby, drill!’ | Left Foot Forward

    […] Climate sceptic Tory MEPs will send us sleepwalking towards disaster – Martyn Williams, July 5th 2011 Share | Permalink | Leave a comment Comments […]

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