Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-03-26-Speech-3-040"

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"Thank you very much, Mr President. I would like to speak on two topics: climate change, and research and development. Mr Barroso began by saying that the Spring Council was a moment of truth. I suggest we continue in this vein. The objectives, the road maps and the various policies set out in this regard by the European Union institutions are good and adequate, I believe, and the goals are as ambitious as they need to be. The problem that I foresee is more likely to relate to their implementation. The will to implement these goals on the part of the Member States is variable, and in many cases there is disappointingly little will to do so. I would like to call to your attention the European Environment Agency’s recent report stating that carbon dioxide emissions in Europe have not decreased since 2000, but have increased. I suggest we should be honest about this. Sadly, the attitude and behaviour of Member States is far from united, let alone desirable. In practical terms, the eastern half of Europe is doing nothing. It is operating on the basis that its industry collapsed after 1990, and so it still has considerable reserves. Europe’s western half, rather than cutting emissions, has increased them, despite its Kyoto promises. Only a few countries – Germany, the United Kingdom and Sweden – have met their Kyoto commitments as regards reducing carbon dioxide emissions. We must take note: being flexible is not synonymous with doing nothing. Similarly, the European Environment Agency report shows that the Member States of the European Union will have to pay EUR 2.9 billion to use the clean development mechanism – the instrument of the Kyoto Protocol – starting this year. Europe is increasingly lagging behind as regards research and development too. The goal of according a 3% share of GDP to R&D is no longer much more than fantasy. The United States and Japan are forging ahead, while many Member States, my own country included, barely manage 1% of GDP. Wakey-wakey! The ambitious plans are in place; now we need ambitious implementation of them."@en1

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