EAST EURO CANDIDATE DEPLORES FAILURE TO BAN FRACKING:
Region still at risk after ban rejected by European Parliament.
European Parliament members have voted for tough new targets on mitigating man-made climate change - but against an outright ban on fracking.
The Greens voted to adopt the strategy, despite the targets falling short of what they wanted and a bid to ban fracking being rejected by other MEPs, in order to give their strong backing to the setting of binding targets, an approach previously rejected by the European Commission.
Rupert Read, lead MEP-candidate for the East of England, commented:
"This shows how strong the Green Party Group is in the European Parliament and how it needs to get even stronger. This is great news on climate, very welcome at a time when we are all realising that climate chaos is already wrecking our weather.
"But it is a missed opportunity to stop places like north Norfolk, and the Herts-Essex-Cambs border from being fracked. If I'm elected as part of a strengthened Green Group this May, I vow to press once again for a full moratorium on the climate-dangerous farrago that is fracking, across Europe. They've already done it in France; we can get it brought in here, too."
The MEPs' decision undermines proposals for a weaker climate change regime for the next 15 years proposed by the European Commission reportedly at the behest of the UK and Polish governments just last month.
The Parliament has decided to set higher targets to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions, to require all EU members to increase the amount of electricity they generate from renewable sources, and to require targets for energy efficiency measures too.
London's Green MEP Jean Lambert said the decision represented massive progress on the proposals published in January.
"I am delighted MEPs have come together to reiterate the importance of taking concerted EU action on tackling climate change, and requiring all member states to meet strict targets on energy efficiency and renewable energy generation as well as overall emissions reduction.
"Of course, we'd have liked them to be higher: Greens proposed binding targets of reducing total emissions by at least 60%, generating 45% of our energy from renewable sources, and cutting demand for electricity by 40% by 2030."
MEPs eventually agreed to set targets of 40% and 30% for reducing emissions and switching to renewables, as well as voting to accept the Greens' proposal for a 40% cut in energy demand by 2030.
Ms Lambert added:
"Of course I am disappointed that we couldn't get the support for an EU ban on fracking, although MEPs have agreed that all exploration and drilling requests should be subject to a full community consultation. There should be no secret fracking under people's homes without permission, as proposed by the UK Government."