Speech: Debate on Climate Change, Paris COP21


At Paris, the EU should speak with one voice. E puribus unum, ‘out of many one’, as our American cousins would say. There is much that unites the various groups of the Parliament and the Council. This report is both original and good, however the good parts are not original and the original parts are not good.

• We want a Green Climate Fund that is well financed. We want to see monies and finance flowing from it to the countries that need it most, as soon as it can be mobilised.

• We recognise that the declared INDCs will fall short of delivering the 2 degree target and we want to see climate diplomacy scaled up to address this deficiency.

• We believe that the Emissions trading scheme should ultimately be united with comparable schemes around the globe.

• We agree that a reduction of at least 40% in our greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels is both ambitious and deliverable.

My group is able to support three quarters of the compromises in this report. However, my group will not vote in support of the report itself.

The rapporteur has chosen a path, not one of consensus but of a narrow dare I say political focus. Despite the emerging consensus amongst the political groups in Brussels on matters climate related, the rapporteur has chosen to pursue issues and priorities that divide us.

• The inclusion of a hugely divisive financial transaction tax in the deal

• Allocating and building upon ETS revenues before we have embarked on ETS reform

• seeking targets that divide Council from Parliament, and which we know will not be delivered against.

The rapporteur has decided to drive forward with his report indifferent to need for consensus and the benefit.

I think this is irresponsible and it is discourteous, but more than that, it undermines the credibility of the EU’s strong position heading into Paris. For that reason my group will abstain on this report tonight.