EU ‘waste’ drives up carbon emissions
Kent Green MEP reveals how Europe’s politicians are adding to global warming
A KENT Green MEP says Europe’s politicians are pumping an extra 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year by meeting in two countries.
Dr Caroline Lucas, a south east MEP, has called for the European Parliament to end its “travelling circus” between Brussels and Strasbourg.
She says the amount of CO2 generated annually by all the to-ing and fro-ing is more than that pumped out by some countries.
Dr Lucas’s comments follow a study she commissioned, which she says was the first to examine in detail the climate change impact of the European Parliament’s split site arrangements.
She said: “It is unacceptable that so much carbon dioxide is being emitted completely unnecessarily, and that 200 million euros are being wasted every year on this anachronistic travelling circus.
“These emissions aren’t just undermining European Union efforts to cut CO2 across the union.
“They send out a clear signal to citizens, businesses and member country govern- ments that cutting emissions isn’t as big a priority as defending the status quo.”
The report was produced by Professor John Whitelegg, professor of sustainable transport at the Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York.
It calculated the carbon emissions generated every month by MEPs, staff, journalists and visitors travelling from Brussels to Strasbourg and back, freight travelling between the two sites and energy being used to maintain the two Parliament buildings.
The report concluded that at least 20,268 tonnes of unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions were produced every year.
It said ending parliamentary sessions in Strasbourg would cut CO2 emissions by 3,928 tonnes from electricity and gas alone.
Dr Lucas said: “The EU must exercise some environmental leadership and end the two-seat arrangement immediately.”
She was backed by Conservative MEP Richard Ashworth, also a south east MEP.
“The Strasbourg parliament is responsible for thousands of flights and car and lorry journeys,” he said.
“Much of the building must be heated and lit even when MEPs are not there.
“How can the EU claim to be taking the lead on climate change when its own parliament is pumping out emissions for no justifiable reason?”
Green MEP Dr Caroline Lucas