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Debates
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition

9.1. Binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement (A8-0208/2017 - Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy)
Video of the speeches
MPphoto
 

  Daniel Hannan (ECR ). – Mr President, I am in favour of the Paris Agreement. I cannot help noticing the sudden change in tone, though, of its other supporters. A year ago, they were telling us that it was a bare minimum, that it was inadequate, and suddenly, the moment Donald Trump pulled out, it became central to the survival of human civilization. But we will leave that to one side. It seems to me sensible to have countries working voluntarily on this kind of issue.

What is not sensible is to defend it – as so many in this House have been doing – as an economic project, the idea that it is all about creating green jobs and so on. To see what is wrong with that argument, consider Frédéric Bastiat’s example of the broken glass. If somebody went round smashing windows, that would – on exactly the same argument – create lots of jobs, because there would be lots of jobs needed for glaziers, people to drive the new glass, people to install them and all the rest of it; but of course we can all see that we would still be worse off. If we are prepared to pay an economic price, fine – that is a perfectly valid convincing argument. But for heaven’s sake, let us not insult people’s intelligence by claiming that this is somehow going to boost global growth.

 
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