Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-03-26-Speech-3-015"

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"Mr President, Mr President-in-Office, Mr President of the Commission, during the course of the debate, I had the impression that we were talking about two quite different events. I observed the Council on behalf of my Group, but I did not gain any impression at all from that event that it aimed to forge any new, more advanced, ambitious joint climate policy initiatives, for example. You may recall that shortly before the Council, Javier Solana unveiled his climate scenario from a security perspective. If the Greens had published something of the sort, which describes how climate change will escalate conflicts all over the world, intensifying pressure on the developed world in particular, everyone would probably have said, 'the Greens have lost the plot, putting forward such apocalyptic scenarios'. In fact, the Solana paper contains a lot of truth, and I am surprised that none of the valid points that it puts forward were taken up by the Council. Indeed, in areas where it should have been more consistent compared with what was presented last year, we see greater inconsistency. Our Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in particular, of whom I was so proud last year, was the very person who battled for a delay, a slowdown and exemptions. Let us be under no illusion: if we make exemption rules for European industry in emissions trading the focal point of the Council at this time, then we must assume from the outset that the Council has failed. I think it is an extremely negative message to send out to the rest of the world if we talk about exemptions for emissions trading for the next decade. How, under those circumstances, can we achieve the ambitious goal of bringing the rest of the world on board in Poznan or Copenhagen? In my view, what has happened is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Let me say this very clearly on behalf of my Group. We want proper emissions trading, not exemptions. We would rather be protecting at our external borders a European industry that is sustainable, rather than bowing to pressure, at this crucial juncture in the climate process, from the steel and automobile industries and other lobbyists who, as we see from a recent report, are already exerting direct and, indeed, excessive influence on decisions in Brussels. In my view, this was not an ambitious summit; it was fainthearted. That was not only due to the new role of Angela Merkel, who has ceased to be the Climate Chancellor. It was also due to the fact that so many countries in Europe are going it alone. Some countries are negotiating separately about visa agreements. Others are discussing their own approach to missile defence with the Americans. There is no unity on Kosovo or on the issue of energy security: the Germans are conducting their own business with Russia's Gasprom, and the Italians and Hungarians are also doing business on their own. The Mediterranean Union was actually just Mr Sarkozy's idea as a way of safeguarding uranium imports into France in exchange for arms and nuclear technology exports. In my view, the overall framework for this summit was extremely poor and its outcome is negatively influenced by far too much 'go-it-alone' and far too little commonality. To me, an ambitious approach is one thing; faintheartedness another, and my overall impression of this summit is its faintheartedness. That is certainly not good, but what is worse is that there is so little honesty about it in the House today."@en1

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