June 22, 2006

Eurosceptic enviromentalism

The guardian is propogandising again for the Labour Party, two columns in two days they must be worried. This time it is David Miliband and Geoff Hoon singing the praises of the EU and saying that Cameron is a hypocrite for trying to look enviromentally friendly while wanting to leave the EU. Cameron is a hypocrite (he has tried to defend himself here), but not because of his fairly mild eurosceptism.
the European Union, whic- without exaggeration - could be as important to the environment in the first half of the 21st century as it was to peace in the second half of the 20th.
Well since the European Union had no impact on peace what so ever in the second haft of the 20th century (other than making the Balkan wars longer and bloodier than necessarcary) there could be some truth to that statement.
EU agreements have already brought major environmental benefits, from dramatically improving water quality and waste disposal to achieving higher product standards and protecting endangered species and habitats.
Unless the endangered species happen to be fish, or the habitats farmland. Until the 2003 reforms CAP worked against the organic farming movement and in favour of industrialised chemical farming. Not that these reforms have helped that much Oxfam reports that "CAP is at the heart of problems that range from water pollution to soil erosion". The EU's directives forcing recycling even when it uses more resources (and is therefore more enviromentally harmful) than landfill, and the REACH ban on the use of lead in electrical products is threatening to destroy whole industries for no enviromental benefit at all.
Today, as the world slowly wakes up to the massive challenge of tackling climate change, it is to Europe that it looks for inspiration.
Having completely failed to even come close to meeting it's Kyoto requirements.
By negotiating as one block, the EU is a powerful force for change
Well it would actually be more accurate to call it a powerful block to change, especially in considering the Doha trade round (the 'development round' it was billed as) is being held up primarily by the EU's defence of the indefensible CAP.
without it, the Kyoto protocol would not have survived.
Who said it did survive in any meaningful sense? It has actually achieved about as much as the Lisbon Agenda, that is there is a peice of paper with some nice sounding words and a bunch of signatures. But no action what so ever.
The EU's emission-trading scheme is the most innovative and efficient method yet invented for reducing carbon emissions to manageable levels.
Emission-trading may be good, but it hasn't actually worked as well as not doing anything as happened in the USA. "The EU's emissions rose 3.6% between 2001 and 2004 (those in the US fell)".
David Cameron's hostility to Europe makes a mockery of his claimed green credentials. The gap between his rhetoric and his party's action is glaring - not only in the chauffeur-driven car that follows his bicycle to work.
While Tony clocks up the air miles in Blair Force One, or his ministers use the Royal Flight as their own personal taxi service or for private holidays.
By pulling out of the mainstream Conservative group in the European Parliament, Mr Cameron is putting his party's obsessive anti-Europeanism before Britain's national interest, and before effective action on the environment.
That pulling out of the EU is bad for the enviroment would certainly come as a surprise to the Green Party who are distinctly sceptical of the current EU arrangements. Perhaps we would end up like other countries that have never joined, ecological disaster zones like Norway or Switzerland.

Anti-Europeanism is in Britain's national interest, and the worlds ecological interest. For example the CFP, second largest EU policy, isn't good for conservation as it is destroying the fisheries of Europe and Africa. Unless you consider it the EU dealing with all the fish that are poluting the pristine waters of Europe.
Bill Cash's amendment to the Regulatory Reform Bill was supported by 130 Tory MPs, including most of the front bench. This seemingly obscure proposal is a dagger pointed at the heart of Britain's EU membership: it means withdrawal.
Good, lets leave.


The EU-Serf also covers this concluding:
The Three most important cross border environmental issues are protection of habitats, protection of migratory species and reduction of pollutants. In all three cases the EU's policies are useless or even counter productive. So there is no merit in the EU helps the environment argument.


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