South and East Belfast Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Failure to toughen EU emissions target a mistake

Published: 6 July, 2011

Bairbre de Brún MEP today expressed disappointment that the European Parliament failed to back a proposal to toughen the EU´s target on reducing CO2 emissions from a 20% cut compared to 1990 levels by 2020 to the more ambitious level of a 30% cut.

Speaking from the European Parliament in Brussels, Ms de Brún said:

"Some of the MEPs appeared to be concerned that the stronger target would hamper EU industry but the opposite is the case. We need to send a clear signal to industry that investing in greener technologies will help EU competitiveness. Elsewhere in the world countries are moving much more decisively and the EU cannot afford to get left behind.

"Studies have shown that a 10% increase in the target would reduce our yearly oil and gas imports by €40 billion whilst simultaneously encouraging a much-needed uptake in green technologies. A legally-binding 30% target would inevitably encourage the move to cleaner renewable energy and subsequently increase fuel security.

de Brún added, "Moving to a 30% reduction target is no longer only a question of climate policy. As the effects of the recession continue to be felt throughout Europe, it is essential that we take tangible action to move to a low-carbon economy and by doing so create millions of green jobs for our citizens.

"Europe's future prosperity depends on a low carbon economy"