EU ‘waste’ drives up car­bon emis­sions

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - ROUNDABOUT - by Paul Francis

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.

Un­nec­es­sary

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

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