Tory and UKIP MEPs vote down plans for affordable energy

Labour say the report would have helped thousands of people out of energy poverty


Tory and UKIP MEPs joined forces yesterday to vote down proposals for an EU energy strategy which sought to address energy security and access to affordable energy.

The report, which was voted down by a margin of 39 votes, supported 2030 climate and energy targets of a minimum 40 per cent reduction in C02 emissions.

It emphasised that energy must be made affordable for all EU citizens in a bid to tackle the growing problem of energy poverty.

Labour MEPs had pushed to include binding targets on energy efficiency and renewable energy within the strategy.

Theresa Griffin MEP, Labour’s European spokesperson on energy, said:

“The Conservatives and UKIP seem to have forgotten that on Monday the G7 leaders agreed to cut greenhouse gases by phasing out the use of fossil fuels by the end of the century.

“It is paramount this objective is intertwined with our work on energy and energy security and that we support this as a parliament.

“Our actions and our policies need to be guided by three major responsibilities: affordability, security and sustainability.

“I am extremely disappointed this report, that would have helped thousands of people across the Europe out of energy poverty, was not passed.

“The EU currently imports more than half of all the energy it consumes at a cost of more than €1 billion per day – this cannot go on.”

However, the Green Party also voted down the report, due to an inserted amendment supporting the use of public funds for nuclear energy.

There was a small Brussels victory for the Greens when a majority of MEPs voted to pass an amendment included in the report calling for a moratorium on fracking.

Passed by 338 votes to 319, the amendment called for a halt on the authorisation of new shale exploration and drills ‘until this is proven to be safe for the environment, citizens and workers’.

Because the report was not adopted the vote will have no practical effect, however anti-shale campaigners hope that it will push the issue of fracking to the forefront of the agenda and may allow for a more consequential vote on the issue.

Geert de Cock, the director of the environmental group Food and Water Europe, said that the vote showed a significant shift in attitudes:

“We consider this vote a milestone for the European anti-fracking movement and a clear indicator that the public acceptance for this industry is crumbling across the EU.”

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

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9 Responses to “Tory and UKIP MEPs vote down plans for affordable energy”

  1. Cole

    So for all the nonsense we hear from right wingers about how they care about peoples’ energy bills – usually as an argument against renewable energy or doing anything about climate change – we now see that it’s a lot of hot air. The usual hypocrisy.

  2. Gary Schofield

    You can have affordable energy or you can have green energy, but there is no such thing as affordable green energy.

  3. MariaJTorres

    nowRead this leftfootforward. ….. Here’s a Blog


  4. itdoesntaddup

    £168/MWh for intermittent, highly variable tidal lagoon power is a Tory idea of affordable energy, while $60/tonne coal producing reliable power at under £20/MWh is being phased out.

    I haven’t a clue what Labour think is affordable these days, but I’m starting to think they’ve got some of Marie Antoinette’s cake on the menu.

  5. gunnerbear

    More Green h******t – Green energy is eye-wateringly expensive. It can’t be anything but expensive as it is intermittent and needs conventional generation to underpin it – which is why we are paying through the nose for STOR contracts. Huge amounts of backup diesel generators for example to be run when it is too windy or not windy enough. As to ‘decarbing the economy’ – just about everything today is made in an industrial process using machines that were in turn made by other machines that are in general made out of steel. The author is truly full of it if they think the BRICS and the US (and most of our competitors are going to do a single thing that threatens their economic growth). We are in essence stood on an island made of coal with pockets of gas about and the author is screeching about their worries in terms of keeping the lights on. And the powers-that-be wonder why a third of voters did vote for the utter f***kwitz in the HoC who just about all voted for Climate Change Act – an act so insanely stupid that only Red Ed. could have come up with it.

  6. gunnerbear

    Totally agree – they’re all loons. Red, Blue and Yellow – and still they want to impose the LCPD on the UK even as Germany digs more lignite – sorry wet peat – out of the ground as it expands it’s power generation sector.

  7. gunnerbear

    “It emphasised that energy must be made affordable for all EU citizens in a bid to tackle the growing problem of energy poverty.” Then get coal out of the ground. And the Greens voted against N-power – the tools – they’d rather have no power when the wind doesn’t blow than stable N-power. If you’re going to have to pump prime the development of any new ‘energy plants’ e.g. wind farms or N-Power with public cash, let’s at least go with something switchable and controllable and not at the mercy of whether its windy or not or too windy.

  8. itdoesntaddup

    You can add in Tartan as well (or perhaps especially).

  9. Roger_Helmer_MEP

    UKIP is absolutely committed to secure & affordable energy. That’s why we always oppose green extremism, which drives up energy prices and undermines UK competitiveness.

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