Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed disappointment at the mixed outcome from votes on measures to control emissions and climate change in the European Parliament.
Parliament confirmed agreement with the Council of EU Member State governments on a raft of measures, which included a regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions in sectors such as transport, agriculture, waste and buildings.
Other pieces of legislation passed today accounts for the role of land use and forestry in emissions and climate change, as well as new rules on the energy performance of buildings.
Speaking from Strasbourg, in reaction to the outcome of the votes, Ms. Childers, a member of Parliament’s Environment committee, said:
“I am disappointed to see this regulation on greenhouse gas emissions come short of what the future requires of Europe.
“We are talking about 30% reductions, by 2030, in sectors that account for almost two thirds of emissions on our continent. This is not enough to flesh out our commitments in the UN Paris Agreement.
“Recently, we passed long overdue reforms of the EU’s Emissions Trading System, to deal with the glut of carbon allowances that cheapened the production of emissions in the heavy industry and energy sectors.
“Today we haven’t come even near the 40% target in reductions we achieved then.
“Member State governments choose to drag their feet and protect the tired old ways of doing business at home.
“They remain blinded to ever clearer and present risks by the demands and short-term interests of preferred constituencies.
“Even in Ireland, we have started to feel the human and social costs of more extreme climate phenomena. There isn’t just opportunity in a proper, full-scale energy and industrial transition, but also resilience and survival, if we stay below catastrophic levels of global warming.
“Business as usual is not an option. The planet won’t wait for us to face up to the facts we need to act upon.”