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Wednesday, 21 May 2008 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Council Question Time

  Gay Mitchell (PPE-DE). – I thank the Minister for his reply, but I wonder if the institutions are to some extent at cross purposes here.

On the one side we are staring environmental catastrophe in the face, with Europe and the world continuing as normal, while on the other side we move to engage with the problem of climate change and take the hard decisions that our future generations are dependent upon.

As the Minister has said, in its Spring conclusions the Council did undertake to move towards tackling the serious problem of climate change and to take the serious decisions needed.

But is Mr Solana singing from the same hymn sheet? He has been saying different things: talking of the need for fossil fuel exploration rights in one of the last environmentally pristine places on earth, and calling this an opportunity. Does that not fly in the face of what the European Council is saying? Could we please co-ordinate our messages?

We do have the rapporteur on the climate here, Mrs Doyle, who will be listening to all of this.

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