Smith Hails EU Parliament Climate Change Vote

25 November 2009
SNP Member of the European Parliament Alyn Smith has today (Wednesday) hailed a vote of the full Parliament in Strasbourg setting out the position of the Parliament in advance of the crucial climate change talks in Copenhagen in December.

The Parliament adopted the final report by an overwhelming majority, and calls for an actually binding agreement in Copenhagen, if one can be reached, as any sort of alternative 'non-binging' agreement would be of little value.

The report also calls for an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050, which while far in advance of anything on the agenda in Copenhagen does set ambitions for the EU and provides leadership for the world's delegates. It also called for "climate financing" money from the EU to be 30 billion euro by 2020, with this money being new and additional to existing international aid.

Speaking after the vote Smith said:

"This is a solid vote by the Parliament today, and while I was disappointed to see a few of the more ambitious proposals we put forward voted down, I am broadly happy with the final text.

"There will be a lot to play for in Copenhagen and it should not be seen in isolation. For me the key point remains that whatever agreement is reached be binding, or else we risk the same sort of scenario where umpteen countries have signed up to the pledge to commit 1% of GDP to international aid, yet only a few small, northerly European states have actually put the warm words into practice.

"Likewise, if there is not a deal then it does not absolve governments from responsibility. We in Scotland have led by example, with the most ambitious Climate Change Act in the world, and a glittering potential energy contribution to make in clean green technology."