de Brún challenges Wilson on Climate Change
Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún will participate today in the debate around the concluding report of the European Parliament's Climate Change Committee of which she is a member. The report has far-reaching recommendations on steps that need to be taken in the time ahead, and will be voted in the European Parliament tomorrow.
Ms De Brún, while welcoming the report which maps out a plan for future EU climate actions, will challenge Environment Minister Sammy Wilson to state if he is willing to take on the challenge the EU is setting the Assembly by dealing with climate change or if he will allow the north's small and medium enterprises as well as our environment to suffer because of his lack of action.
From Strasbourg today Ms de Brún commented:
"Coming as it does some months before the European Parliament elections, this final report sets out the steps that need to be taken across all sectors of society. It also demonstrates the need for an integrated strategy and integrated plans.
"The report emphasis that tackling climate change will help to create new jobs in new technologies, combat energy poverty and dependency on imported fossil fuel and provide social benefits for citizens. It also calls for a "climate audit" so that EU budget lines can be adapted in line with the requirements of climate policy, as well as tackling the question of allocating unused existing EU funds for climate policies.
"Some less progressive forces have tried to use the economic downturn as an excuse to row back on the necessary climate commitments. This should be seen not only as the cynical ploy it is from forces not in the least bit interested in facing up to the realities of climate change but also as short-sighted in the extreme.
As the European Parliament symbolically passes the baton to our national and local leaders I hope that common sense can prevail and that our Environment Minister in particular wakes up and gets to grips with what the rest of Europe is already undertaking. If not our small and medium businesses and our environment will be left behind in the coming years."