8 Jul 2011

EU climate vote: Tory shame

So Tory MEPs defied the government and voted against CO2 cuts. On Tuesday 16 Conservative Euro MPs voted against tougher action to cut carbon emissions. The vote was lost by 9 votes.

I blogged on this recently when I learnt that our own SW Tories incl Julie Girling were amongst those intending to defy the computer.

It’s seriously disappointing news indeed. The UK government has already backed a 30% target, and last week every EU government but Poland supported more ambitious climate action. When Giles Chichester Tory MEP replied saying he could not support the move, his email was really not clear. I wrote back saying: "I do not fully understand your position. Why are you not supporting your own leader’s policy which is part of the coalition agreement? 70 top businesses have already supported stiffer cuts that will ultimately help measures to drive green growth and create millions of new jobs in Europe's clean industries. Christian Aid, Oxfam, Greenpeace, WWF and Green Alliance have all written to the Prime Minister supporting 30 per cent cuts in European emissions by 2020. How can you not see the urgency and the need for the EU to lead by example?"

I had a reply from Martin Callanan MEP instead repeating what had been said earlier. In my view their arguments do not even begin to stack up and it is shameful that the Tory move has led to the failure to support this legislation. We need to be on a war footing in terms of climate change - see previous blog here.

At least Lib Dem Graham Watson supported the cut. In his email to me he wrote: "It is disappointing that my Conservative and UKIP colleagues in the South West appear to have chosen not to support the reduction. It is well known that there are climate change deniers within the ranks of their respective parties and it appears that they are beginning to get the upper hand on these issues. The Conservative MEPs have also come under criticism for not supporting their own leader’s policy, which is part of the coalition agreement."

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