Donald Trump’s unilateral decision to pull the United States out of the COP21 Paris climate accord may have caused widespread outrage around the world but GUE/NGL MEPs believe that this is neither time nor the place for Europe to row back on its commitment to fighting climate change.
MEPs were debating the Trump decision and its implications for the 2015 Paris accord at the Strasbourg plenary this morning. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the Parliament that the Paris agreement will not be renegotiated, and MEPs later voted to overwhelmingly adopt the EU’s 2030 emissions-reduction targets.
At the plenary, GUE/NGL Coordinator on the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), Kateřina Konečná said that Trump’s actions will have a catastrophic effect on our future:
“Trump has decided to withdraw from the Paris climate accord because he would apparently like to take us back to the Middle Ages whilst ignoring scientifically verifiable facts on a daily basis.”
“Unfortunately, even despite all of his tweets, climate change is unstoppable. Whole nations and states are threatened by this process which brings about rising sea-levels and devastating droughts,” she continued.
“Over the coming years, man-made climate change may trigger a migration wave of such a magnitude that it would make the current crisis pale in comparison.”
“More than ever, today we have to show the world our unity, determination and the right way forward,” the Czech MEP concluded.
For Portuguese MEP Marisa Matias, who sits on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), she is concerned that the EU might already be reneging on some of its commitment to fight climate change:
“The fact that Trump has pulled out of the Paris agreement is bad news for us all.”
“But we need to be consistent. A few days ago at the ITRE committee, we adopted the Parliament’s position on the Commission’s land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) – and the forestry lobby won the day.”
“What we adopted not only calls into question the Paris agreement but also EU legislation on fighting climate change. That is why I call upon this house as well as the Commission and the Council to ensure that the Paris agreement is carried out in the proper way and without any manipulation.”
“We cannot just brag about the trees that we are planting whilst ignoring the ones that we’ve cut down,” she said.