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Climate agenda must not' be downgraded

PUBLISHED: 14:54 03 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:44 23 August 2010

WORRIED: Dr Caroline Lucas MEP.

WORRIED: Dr Caroline Lucas MEP.

A TOP MEP has slammed EU ministers calls for a downgrading of climate legislation saying tacking global warming will help create jobs and stimulate industry. Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, MEP for the south east, says now is the time for Europe to c

A TOP MEP has slammed EU ministers' calls for a downgrading of climate legislation saying tacking global warming will help create jobs and stimulate industry.

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, MEP for the south east, says now is the time for Europe to cement its green credentials.

She spoke about her concerns following a meeting of EU enterprise and industry ministers, at the Competitiveness Council in Brussels, held last Thursday.

Dr Lucas said: "Every time the EU introduces new environmental legislation, industry re-trundle out the same tune about the impact on jobs but history has revealed this scaremongering to be hollow.

"On the contrary, we have strong evidence and research to indicate that this legislation, notably the EU climate package, will help boost employment and stimulate industries to adapt for the new economic challenges Europe faces. The US and Asian economies and others have clearly recognised that the future global economy will be green. We need ambitious legislation to ensure European industries are at the fore in this new global economic order and do not miss the boat."

She slammed the slow progress of environment law being made in Brussels and revealed she is concerned ministers are turning their backs on the environment, adding: "The outcome of today's council reflects a worrying trend in European industrial policy-making. Instead of using the current crisis as an opportunity to support adaptation of our industries to enable them to withstand the economic challenges of the future, the misguided approach to industrial policy peddled by some EU governments risks condemning Europe to an outdated economic model - based on failed industries.

"We cannot let the same old tired arguments made by the polluting industries jeopardise the meagre progress that has been made by EU legislation in terms of protecting EU citizens, promoting public health, limiting environmental damage and tackling climate change.

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