Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Climate change conference in Doha

Delivered in Plenary - 21st November 2012

Mr President

With all the crises going on in the world – the eurozone one, the fiscal cliff in the USA, a nuclear Iran etc. – climate change has slipped somewhat down the political agenda. But Hurricane Sandy was a bit of a wake-up call, and I do now hope that President Obama in his second term will act decisively.

I have to say that the anthropogenic debate regarding climate change is not entirely settled in my mind, but nevertheless I do support the EU 2020 mitigation agenda, although I worry that the higher, 30%, reduction target for emissions might put my country’s economy at a severe competitive disadvantage, and unless the other major players in the world, such as the USA, Canada, Japan and the BRICs, all sign up at the 2015 Doha Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, we will have problems for the future.

The EU must speak with one voice – and that is not entirely settled either – but we cannot go it alone to stop this global threat to future generations by stabilising the temperature rise below 2o – which must be our objective. Otherwise we face serious problems of desertification, rising ocean levels and mass migration as agriculture and global fishery stocks are depleted.

So I do wish the Commissioner every success in Doha.