Shared effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Delivered in Plenary - 16th December 2008
European citizens are gravely concerned about the effects of climate change and support a low-carbon, clean energy provision for our future. It is therefore right that we send a strong signal to the Council of our common commitments.
However, the people we represent are also gravely concerned about the global financial crisis. For them, job security has certainly become a more pressing issue than global warming and renewable energy, at least for now. We cannot allow the state of Europe’s economies, nevertheless, to push climate change off the agenda. Equally, we cannot further undermine our key industries and labour markets by taking hasty actions.
On the whole, I believe that this package – the ‘triple 20’ climate change package – reflects this dilemma and it reduces the risk that European industries will have to relocate abroad to less restrictive jurisdictions. The City of London, which I represent, is also very keen to trade carbon permits under the ETS.
Taking a common approach to addressing climate change is also at the heart of my party’s approach to the European Union under David Cameron, who is our party leader, and hopefully the next Prime Minister of Britain.