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EU must turn faltering climate policy around at upcoming UN Summit

Ahead of key negotiations later this month intended to revive global climate change strategy, MEPs last night debated the position the EU should take at the New York summit.

 

Finnish MEP Merja Kyllönen said there was “no time to waste.”

 

“The new results of the IPCC on the scientific basis for climate change leave no room for hesitation: we must act now. Bold announcements and actions that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for an ambitious legal agreement in 2015 are needed” she said, adding a call for burden sharing between rich and poor countries. “It is a tall order for a one-day summit, but do we have an alternative while glaciers are melting?” she asked.

 

Saying it was necessary to “abandon the ideological approach and focus on finding new sources of energy,” Czech MEP Kateřina Konečná called for the securing of energy resources “that will not damage the key components of the environment and be affordable” in a plea for action against energy poverty.

 

With the clock ticking towards the key climate summit in Paris next year, Irish MEP Lynn Boylan said Ban Ki-moon’s summit “should be an opportunity to provide a much needed refocusing for political leaders across the world to pledge serious climate commitments.”

 

“Unfortunately” she said she had “serious doubts that the right actions will be taken” and called for developed regions such as Europe to take the lead and show ambition on this issue. “Europe’s political leaders have to start listening to scientists, environmental groups and people’s movements that will be on the streets across the world this Sunday – including in my own native town of Dublin – and stop listening to the scare stories of lost profits spread by big business who will decry anything which requires them to take account for their actions which harm the environment.”

 

Basque MEP Iosu Juaristi Abaunz said the problem was “not just those in power closing their eyes to climate change, but that many states are actively working in the wrong direction.”

 

“There is no political will or vision to develop a renewable energy economy” he said, pointing to the nomination of Mr Arias Cañete as new European Commissioner for Climate and Energy as a major gaffe. “It is an unfortunate choice for this position” he said, concluding that “the public sector should finance the transition to economic models based on renewable energies, food sovereignty, public transport and education. Our climate needs social and economic justice.”