Speaking from the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg, Martina Anderson welcomed the adoption of a climate report but expressed disappointment at the level of ambition.

Martina Anderson said:

“I am pleased that my fellow MEPs have chosen to vote in favour of this report which sets out the Parliament’s position on the steps for European climate action which will need to be taken by 2030 including three targets for: greenhouse gas emissions reductions, renewables and energy efficiency.

“Although the ambition levels were considerably watered-down from what I would have preferred and believe feasible, it is ultimately encouraging that the Parliament has voted in favour of making the three cornerstone targets legally binding. I hope that it sends out a strong signal to the European Commission and the Member States that a single target for emissions reductions is not sufficient action against the very real threat of climate change.

“We should not consider so-called ‘false options’ such as nuclear and shale gas as viable players in our energy mix and it is essential therefore that we have a binding renewables target to provide for sustainable decarbonisation of our economies which will also create jobs in the renewable energy sector. A binding energy efficiency target will reinforce this transition whilst saving valuable resources.

“Although I felt the European Parliament could have been stronger today and voted in favour of urging local and regional authorities not to authorise shale gas operations I am nevertheless pleased that the report also calls for a mandatory environmental impact assessment for both the exploration and extraction of shale gas in any future legislation and that any use of chemicals in the fracking process should be transparent.”