Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Members of the European Parliament Vote for Pollution

by Ralph on APRIL 23, 2013
The European Commission representing most European nations, operates a measure known as ”backloading” . It is part of their store of incentives to promote the reduction of greenhouse emissions and promote renewable energy. Backloading is designed to artificially raise the price of EU carbon permits (required in order to use carbon producing energy generation) by restricting supply after the prices fell to a record low in January due the economic slowdown and a reduction in manufacturing output across Europe. All well and good you mat say… but no. Those pesky MEPs are torpedoing this CO2 emissions trading scheme by voting against a measure to support the (higher) price of carbon permits.
The price of carbon fell to nearly a half of its former price- a record-low €2.63 a metric ton. This after the European Parliament rejected a proposal to change the EU emissions-trading laws to delay the sale of 900m CO2 permits on the world’s biggest carbon markets. The price of carbon could fall to as low as one Euro and threaten to break the EU system that was designed to encourage clean technologies by pricing high CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants and the like out of the market.
MEPs were deeply divided over the proposal, with 334 voting against and 315 in favour. The reason why so many MEPs voted against keeping the price of CO2 artificially high, and promoting greener policies and energy, was the recession. It seems that as soon as there is an economic downtown, the only way some MEPs think they can get out of it is to forget about CO2 emissions, and go back to the dark old days of churning out poison in to the atmosphere in order to promote economic growth. One wonders why such a knee-jerk reaction was prompted, and cherished green principles compromised?
“In the present economic situation, the decision of backloading would be a wrong signal for households and industries alike. The burden of rising costs is not needed now,” said Eija-Riitta Korhola, a centre-right Finnish MEP (pictured below).
British Liberal Democrats attacked Conservative MEPs for decisively voting against the backloading measure, which was 100% against the line taken by the British Coalition Government.
“Concern about the dire financial situation faced by many countries has taken precedence over the desire for Europe to develop new low carbon technologies,” said Chris Davies, MEP the EU environment spokesman for the Lib Democrats.
Greens have reacted with anger to a vote and accused MEPs of putting jobs before the needs of the environment. Not for the first time. Get a job and your children may choke on CO2.
“Its outrageous that parliament seems to value polluting industry more than Europe’s green future,” said Julia Michalak of Climate Action Network Europe (pictured below). Hear Hear!