CONSERVATIVE MEP FOR SCOTLAND

ENERGY & CLIMATE CHANGE

As the Conservative Spokesperson for energy and climate change in the European Parliament I set priorities in the energy and climate change portfolios on behalf of the Conservative party.

Our objective is to deliver affordable, low carbon energy for UK citizens through a free market in energy which is connected across borders. Every day Europe spends one billion Euros on gas it imports from Russia. As a net importer of energy, the Conservatives believe Europe needs to diversify its energy system and allow Member States to harness their own indigenous energy resources like shale gas and offshore wind in order to secure our energy supply and lower fuel bills for consumers.

We support the liberalisation of energy markets, believing that competition will drive down prices for consumers. Similarly, we want to see key infrastructure projects like cross-border interconnectors in the North Sea delivered. By creating a truly free market in energy, we can reduce our dependence on foreign energy further and help create jobs in energy research and development, manufacturing and maintenance.

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today. Scientists predict that if we do not limit the earth's temperature rise to 2 degrees the consequences of climate change will be irreversible. In my role as climate change spokesman and member of the Environment Committee in the European Parliament I am responsible for leading the Conservative group's work on climate change through efforts to reduce the carbon we emit into the atmosphere. I am the European Parliament's lead negotiator on reforms to Europe's Emissions Trading System (ETS), Europe's flagship climate change legislation to reduce emissions. In this role I will shape the policies Europe uses to reduce our emissions and meet our greenhouse gas reduction target of minus 40% by 2030.

CLIMATE CHANGE

The EU has one of the most ambitious climate change targets in the world – to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. As Conservative spokesman on climate change I work to shape the laws and policies that will help us meet this target.

I am Parliament's lead negotiator on Europe's flagship policy to reduce emissions, the Emissions Trading System (ETS). The ETS is a cap and trade market, where the quantity of emissions permitted to be released by industry and energy producers in any given year is capped, and allowances to release CO2 are traded on an open market. The current reforms to the ETS are likely to take between one and three years to complete.

As well as being Parliament's lead negotiator on the ETS, I am also one of the European Parliament's delegates to the Paris COP21 climate conference. The aim of the Paris conference is to secure a global agreement to stop the world's temperature from rising above 2 degrees centigrade, at which point scientists believe the consequences of climate change such as rising sea levels and freak weather patterns will become irreversible.

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