Azara Blog: The Green Party says the EU Parliament is not Green

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Date published: 2007/06/02

Caroline Lucas of the Green Party says on the BBC:

Climate change doesn't just threaten a future humanitarian and economic disaster, its effects are devastatingly visible today.
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It's increasingly being recognised that, to stave off its worst impacts, we must cut these emissions by as much as 80-90% over the next few decades.
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EU policy makers will never be able to convince business, private individuals and other nations to take the sometimes radical steps necessary towards this goal until they have shown that they are doing so themselves.

The fact remains that the European Parliament itself is a prodigious emitter of carbon. Take, for example, its anachronistic "two seat" arrangement that sees its meetings alternate between Brussels and Strasbourg, 220 miles away.

This completely unnecessary monthly merry-go-round consists of some 2,000 parliamentary staff and interpreters, nearly 1,000 assistants, journalists and lobbyists, 785 MEPs and 15 lorry-loads of trunks and documents.

This travelling circus is responsible for emitting at least 20,000 tonnes of CO2 every year - about the same as the entire CO2 output of a small nation like Kiribati, or 4,000 London households.

A few years ago we were told we needed to cut emissions by 60% by 2050. Then 80% by 2050. Then 90% by 2050. Now 90% over "the next few decades" (so 2030??). Do we have a higher offer from the crackpot in the corner? The Green Party is completely marginalised and it seems that to make themselves still have some pretense at relevance they must keep making more and more extreme pronouncements. As an MEP, Lucas is not only responsible for the emissions of the "travelling circus", she also gets paid far, far, far above the EU median wage, so is personally responsible for far, far, far more consumption and emissions than the average EU citizen. She should propose that the salaries and perks of all EU politicians and bureaucrats are halved. While she is at it, if she thinks that bouncing back and forth between Brussels and Strasbourg is "completely unnecessary", she might as well point out that the EU Parliament in total is "completely unnecessary". If they shut down this pointless operation think how much emissions would be saved. Lucas is correct about one thing, the ordinary people of the EU have no desire to make any sacrifices while the ruling elite continue to play as if nothing has changed.

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