Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Friday, January 12, 2007

More Response to EU Climate and Energy Proposals

Aberdeen Campaign Against Climate Change member Almuth Ernsting, (a campaigner who is working on the dangers of greenwash and social injustice around biofuels) has a strong letter on the Guardian website attacking the EU proposals that I blogged on yesterday -

The EU's strategic energy plan (Report, January 11) is a double whammy for developing countries. They will suffer ever worse climate disasters, desertification and flooding as a result of inadequate targets for reducing emissions from many of the world's richest nations. And they are set to lose millions of hectares of rainforest, grasslands and farming land so that Europe can meet a 10% biofuel target. Already, up to 20m hectares of land face being converted to oil palm plantations in Indonesia alone, and forests across Latin America, Africa and Asia face destruction as Europe pushes up world market prices for soya, palm oil and sugar cane.

While wind and solar are truly clean energy forms and offer real emission cuts, the energy plan contains no specific mechanism to support them. Nor does it suggest any credible ways of reducing energy demand. Mandatory targets are proposed only for biofuels. Yet biofuels linked to deforestation and peat drainage can have far higher carbon emissions than the fossil fuels they replace: a recent study shows that palm-oil biodiesel from south-east Asian peatlands has 10 times the emissions of mineral oil.

Commissioners have ignored the European parliament's demand for strict environmental safeguards, and an open letter from hundreds of Latin American NGOs, demanding that Europe must not solve its problems at the expense of the environment and communities in the global south. If the commission's plans are endorsed, this will almost certainly speed up the destruction of the Amazon and of other ancient forests across the globe, and leave millions of poor people without land to grow food.
Almuth Ernsting

Meanwhile, Finnish Green MEP Satu Hassi is reported by the Morning Star to have said that "The Commission's proposals on emissions are nothing short of climate crime, betraying future generations of EU citzens. Far from giving leadership, the Commission is proposing that Europe abdicate all ambition on reducing emissions and set a target of a paltry 20 per cent, in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence suggesting greater global reductions are necessary."

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At 8:26 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Greenman, did you know Bob Anton Wilson passed away on the 11th? I was told that he died with a smile on his face.


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