16 Jun 2014

Molly Scott Cato: Carbon and Cornwall

She might not officially start until the 1st July, but Molly Scott Cato is a bit of a force of nature, and is out there already, using the visibility MEP status gives her to draw attention to important regional issues, and to talk about climate change.

In the last week, Molly has accused energy bosses of undermining pro-climate energy policies introduced by the European Union. Working through lobby group Energy UK, leaders in the industry are attempting to water down agreed policies on climate change Greens say are needed to protect the future of the planet.

Molly said, “It is deeply depressing to discover that the economic elites are still prioritising short-term financial gain over the health of the people of the world and our ecosystems. Dealing with climate change has quite literally reached the stage of an end-game and we simply cannot allow fossil fuel energy bosses to direct climate policy. While scientists are arguing the need to expand our renewable energy generation, the self interests of fossil fuel elites and dinosaur politicians are holding us back. This is all the more tragic for the South West which has considerable expertise and enormous potential in renewable energy technologies. We could be looking at thousands of new jobs producing clean, safe electricity while helping to solve the urgent problem of climate change. Energy for the common good, not profits for the few – that’s the Green approach.”

Molly has also spoken out against the suggestion that the Coalition government will prevent Cornwall from making decisions about how to invest the money it receives from Europe. The EU Structural & Investment Funds will provide more than £450 million of European funding for the region during the 2014-2020 period. Dr Scott Cato is also concerned that the Local Enterprise Partnerships, which have limited accountability, now appear to be being given control over this investment of significant public funds. She said:

“During the European Election campaign I noticed that this government deliberately attempts to take the credit for the benefits Europe brings while being critical of the European project. David Cameron argues that EU reform means bringing powers back to London but as Greens we would also like to see powers devolved further, to the nations and regions of the UK.”

South West Green Party are also calling for a 'Greening of the Convergence' so that investment is shifted towards improved local transport infrastructure and strengthened local economies and away from investment in roads and airports.

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