Green MEP Candidate for Islington/London North Caroline Allen
In light of the recent recommendations by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change that greenhouse gas emissions must be cut urgently to reduce the extent of dangerous climate change, what action will you and your party take to strengthen EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets to achieve a 30% cut in emissions on 1990 levels by 2020, and a 55% cut at least on 1990 levels by 2030?
Our Green MEPs in the European Parliament have consistently supported going for at least a 30% reduction by 2020 as we believe this is readily achievable with current technology, not least in terms of increasing energy efficiency which we believe would also reduce the costs of energy imports for the EU and potentially reduce fuel bills.
The European Green Party is pushing for a 2030 reduction of at least 60% as a binding target(although we could not get a majority for this position from the other parties in the outgoing parliament)
We actually want to go further and propose a 90% reduction based on contraction and convergence – where the larger emitters reduce further and faster. However, it is not just a question of targets but also the policy proposals to back these. Implementation of the EU budget is key to ensure that the 20% of Structural Funds supporting climate change measures is used effectively
We also continue to argue for changes in the Common Agricultural Policy to support emission reductions.
We also are pushing for policies supporting 45% of energy from renewables by 2030 and at least 40% reduction via energy efficiency.
And of course we want a ban on fracking.
What action will you and your party take to strengthen the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to raise the carbon price so it effectively encourages low-carbon investments, and penalises high-carbon industries which fail to significantly cut their emissions promptly?
We would prefer to replace the Emissions Trading Scheme as we consider there are more effective measures that could be taken.
However, we recognise the challenge this presents in the current political climate and so also will support measures to make the ETS more robust.
We want to see an ambitious scheme in terms of the ongoing removal of permits and supported the backloading proposals in the last Parliament (unfortunately not supported by the British Conservatives) as well as an escalating price for permits.
What action will you and your party take to ensure that the EU’s trade and development aid policies prioritise the promotion of low-carbon development in developing nations?
We must have coherence in terms of development policy – so that all policies move in the same direction and, particularly, that trade policy should not undermine development goals.
We have long advocated that emission reductions should take place primarily in the polluting countries and not be offset and that funding must be provided for climate-friendly technology transfer.
We will continue to work for poor countries to have a stronger voice at the negotiating table. European funding should only support climate friendly energy policies and not fossil-fuel projects
What action will you and your party take to ensure that the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is not agreed by the EU.
Greens are the only group in the European Parliament activity fighting against TTIP and doing all we can highlight the great danger to our democracy and environmental standards as you mention (as well as worker’s rights, animal protection).
You can find out more about the European Green Party campaign against TTIP here: http://www.ttip2014.eu/
Personally I am involved in campaigning on this issue, I proposed a motion to the England and Wales Green Party Conference which confirmed our strong opposition to TTIP and that it would be a key campaigning issue for us. You can see more about this here: http://carolineallengreenlondon.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/ttip-update-protect-our-democracy.html
I hope you can see this is an issue we are taking very seriously.