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 Full text 
Tuesday, 26 November 2019 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Preparation of the European Council meeting of 12 and 13 December 2019 (debate)

  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I’m sure the members of the Council are delighted that they don’t have to spend much time this time around discussing Brexit and the British elections have given them some breathing space to focus on more important topics. Sadly, as a British MEP, I can’t escape the Brexit nightmare and it rumbles on through our election campaign. This means yet more lies and deceptive soundbites, of which the latest is ‘Get Brexit done’. With three and more years of uncertainty and understandable feelings of Brexit fatigue, it is natural that British voters will be tempted by such an offer. But the reality of Johnson’s deal is that it would lead to years of difficult negotiations and the risk of a cliff—edge Brexit at the end of 2020. It must be rejected.

As Greens, we know that the climate emergency is a far greater crisis facing us, which is why we are determined that this should be a climate election. Yesterday, the World Meteorological Organization revealed that global greenhouse gas emissions reached a new high last year. Setting a net—zero carbon target of 2050 is totally inadequate and flies in the face of both the science and what our children are demanding of us. Aiming for 2050 means risking runaway climate change, a risk to citizens’ lives that we must not take. This is an emergency. We must act as if we mean that. Leaving it too late to achieve carbon neutrality could literally mean the difference between life and death for millions of people. It could spell the end of human civilization.

Safeguarding our planet for future generations calls for urgent action. This means challenging sectors often considered too politically sensitive, taking on the vested interests of aviation, which is still subsidised with European money, the automobile sector and agribusiness. Above all, it means an end to our obsession with economic growth. When your grandchildren ask you, ‘what did you do in the climate emergency?’, you had better make sure you have a good answer.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

Last updated: 9 December 2019Legal notice