Institute for Environmental Security
Advancing Global Environmental Security through
Science · Diplomacy · Law · Finance · Education
GLOBE EU members raise concerns over plans for new DG energy and climate
7 May 2009
A letter headed up by GLOBE EU member and Irish EPP-ED MEP Avril Doyle on behalf of a cross-party group of MEPs and addressed to Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, has criticised the European Commission over proposals to set up a new directorate general (DG) for energy and climate.
The group which also includes GLOBE EU members Chris Davies, Satu Hassi and GLOBE EU President Anders Wijkman amongst others, is concerned that given how far-reaching and complex the climate change issue is, it should be dealt with in solidarity rather than alongside energy policy.
The letter explains that 'Climate policies require... looking at industrial emissions, transport, energy, buildings, agriculture, development, and foreign policy. A DG responsible for energy and climate would not be best placed to deliver such a horizontal approach'. In fact MEPs go on to warn that such a move may indeed have the opposite of the desired effect, with short term economic interests potentially interfering with effective and sustainable climate policies.
Ms Doyle and her colleagues instead recommend that the Commission would be better off either dealing with climate change in isolation, or making it part of the environment department with equal access to all other relevant DGs.
A further reason given by the MEPs for abandoning the Commission's proposed structural changes, is the proximity of the Copenhagen COP-15 negotiations, where the EU hopes to play a pivotal and leading role in reaching a new global climate deal. They fear that having 'internal speculation over administrative structures could be highly damaging to the EU preparedness and performance in the negotiation process'.
The MEPs, many of whom had leading roles as rapporteurs or shadows, during the process of getting the energy and climate change package passed through Parliament and ultimately adopted, have therefore spoken with one voice against the proposed new DG.