Wildlife charity hits out a Conservative MEPs over CO2 target vote

By Colin Ricketts - 06 Jul 2011 19:56:0 GMT
Wildlife charity hits out a Conservative MEPs over CO2 target vote

WWF-UK has criticised the British Conservative party after some of its MEPs joined a group that watered down proposals for tougher greenhouse has emissions targets.

The European Parliament voted not to follow the recommendations of an EU report that called for a 30% reduction from 1990 levels in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Instead, the EU remains committed to a 20% reduction.

The report argued that because of economic recession the 20% reduction offered only a 'business as usual' approach.

WWF is in favour of the 30% target for 2020 as "the bare minimum required for Europe to contribute its fair share to reducing global emissions in line with a minimum 80% reduction by 2050".

Amendments to the report were backed by conservative groupings in the European Parliament leading the author, Green MEP Bas Eickhout to call for the changed report to be rejected in the final vote. MEPs backed that call.

The British Conservative MEPs went against the wishes of their party's leader, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, whose coalition government is in favour of the 30% target. WWF say that with a close vote, the UK MEPs had a major effect on the outcome of the vote.

Keith Allott, Head of Climate Change at WWF-UK, said: "Despite the media spotlight on the UK Conservative MEPs, despite the questions in the House of Commons and despite even the Prime Minister's interventions, we are disappointed that so many Conservative MEPs failed to vote in line with their own party policy, let alone UK Government policy.

"In the circumstances, it's perhaps a good thing that the report - fatally undermined by MEPs' support for negative amendments - was not adopted. But serious questions need to be asked of Martin Callanan and his fellow Conservative MEPs as to whose interests they represent."

Top Image Credit: © Vladimirs Koskins