The environment suffered a double blow in Luxembourg yesterday as moves to protect both biodiversity and the climate were scuppered.
After a meeting of EU environment ministers in Luxembourg yesterday, UK energy secretary Chris Huhne described his failure as: "It is a dark day for Europe's leading role in tackling climate change." He should consider his position.
Janusz Lewandowski, the Polish commissioner in charge of the EU's €130bn budget, even expressed scepticism over the science of climate change and the future of emissions policy. "We already have overambitious agreements on CO2 emission reduction," he told a newspaper, adding, “there is a notion that the thesis that coal energy is the main cause of global warming is highly questionable. Moreover, more and more often there is a question mark put over the whole [issue of] global warming as such."
Poland gets 90% of its electricity from coal. Lewandowski said the CO2 targets "are too ambitious for the Polish economy … Polish politicians have to persuade people that there cannot be a quick jump away from coal. For Poland it would be a disaster."
"It's terrifying that the man in charge of Europe's budget is someone you might expect to see in Sarah Palin's Republican party," added Greenpeace advisor Ruth Davis.
Among Huhnes colleagues, 23 Conservative MEPs are reported to be threatening to vote against David Cameron's policy of increasing the target from 20% reductions by 2020, compared with 1990 levels, to 30%. This is in the coalition agreement, and supported by other EU member states.
Another coalition failure, in a long line of them. If the LD want to be taken seriously on Green issues they should stop propping up the Tories and show some courage.
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