Winning the battle against global climate change
On 11 October 2005, the European Parliament’s
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)
adopted Anders Wijkman's (EPP-ED, Sweden) own-initiative Draft
Report on the Commission's February 2005 Communication Winning
the Battle Against Global Climate Change. The February Communication
presents the European Commission’s vision of the EU's climate
change policy for the post-2012 period.
Unfortunately, a rather anti-nuclear compromise
amendment was tabled at the last minute by Anders Wijkman, Gyula
Hegyi, Rebecca Harms, Caroline Lucas, Kartika Tamara Liotard,
Roberto Musacchio and Johannes Blokland. The amendment was voted
through. Oddly enough, the compromise amendment was supported
by the EPP-ED (European Conservative Group) - at least according
to their voting list.
The amendment reads:
“….recognises that delayed action
will increase the risk of adverse environmental effects and greater
costs; further maintains that reducing global emissions must not
lead to other threats; reiterates its opinion that CDM/JI (clean
development mechanism/joint implementation) or similar credits
must continue to exclude nuclear activities."
Between when the Draft Report that was adopted
by the Parliament’s ENVI Committee and the release of this
edition of the FLASH, FORATOM’s Secretariat has been working
to remove the anti-nuclear reference. There are two options for
getting a new amendment put forward at the Parliament’s
Plenary Session, either:
Lobby for a political party to put forward an amendment deleting
the third sentence "reiterates its opinion that CDM/JI
or similar credits must continue to exclude nuclear activities,"
Lobby for at least 32 MEPs – regardless
of their political affiliation - to co-sign an amendment deleting
the third sentence. However, without the political backing
by a major party, such as the EPP-ED, the chances of convincing
the majority of the remaining 700 MEPs is rather unlikely.
Under the first option, the only political party
likely to support such an amendment would be the EPP-ED party
itself. In view of the fact that the EPP-ED had originally supported
the amendment at the environment committee vote stage, and bearing
in mind that the Draft Report’s Rapporteur, Anders Wijkman,
is himself an EPP-ED Member and one of the anti-nuclear amendment’s
co-authors, the likelihood that the EPP-ED would "force"
Anders Wijkman to change his position on this amendment is practically
zero. The only way the EPP-ED would support removing the anti-nuclear
amendment would be if Anders Wijkman himself were to do so. The
chances of that happening are very remote.
option is no easy task either, but it’s not impossible.
Over the past two weeks, FORATOM’s Secretariat successfully
obtained the 32 MEP signatures needed to table an amendment
at the upcoming November Plenary Session. In fact, it secured
over 50 MEP signatures during a two-day visit to Strasbourg
for the Parliament's October Plenary Session – with
the lobbying support of some Brussels-based nuclear representatives.
Getting the 32 MEP signatures was the easy
part of the process. A Motion for a Resolution (non-binding)
on the Commission’s Communication will be voted upon
at the Parliament’s next Plenary Session, on 16 November.
The more difficult part, however, is getting a majority
of the 732 MEPs to support the amendment during the vote.
After speaking to key senior MEPs from the EPP-ED
party, it became clear that the amendment’s best chance
of succeeding was if the EPP-ED party was to allow a "free
vote" on this particular amendment. This means, EPP-ED Members
would be free to vote whichever way they wanted without having
to follow official party lines. A meeting of the EPP-ED will be
held on 9 November to prepare their voting positions for the following
Plenary Session. In answer to a request from FORATOM’s Secretariat,
key EPP-ED MEPs will insist upon a free vote on the amendment.
The Secretariat will also see if the same procedure could be adopted
by the PSE (the socialist group).
Furthermore, FORATOM’s Secretariat will
continue to urge MEPs to support this amendment by, for example,
urging them to speak to their colleagues, right up until the vote
takes place in November. The Secretariat will also help organize
meetings with key MEPs to discuss the matter further. Whatever
the outcome, everything possible will have been done to get the
amendment accepted. The results of the vote will be published
in the December edition of the FLASH.
For a more detailed look at the Draft Report
check the following web