G20 should show coal the red card

Jean Lambert and Keith Taylor, the UK’s two Green Party MEPs, say it’s time G20 countries in Europe put a European Green New Deal into place. This would involve an end to coal industry subsidy, an international agreement for a Robin Hood Tax, and strategic continent-wide investment in renewable energy industries.

– The European Union is considering 12 more years of state aid for coal, despite renewable energy sustaining more jobs per MW than either nuclear or fossil fuels.

– The Robin Hood Tax is a tiny tax (as low as 0.005% and average 0.05%) on hedge funds, banks, and other financial institutions which would raise billions to tackle global poverty and climate change.

Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP since 1999, said, “It is sheer lunacy that £2.64 billion in EU subsidy goes to the carbon-spewing coal industry each year, when we could be investing this money in tackling climate change and global poverty. Coal should have been shown the red card years ago. We need to play a clean energy game.”

Keith Taylor, South East England’s new Green MEP, said, “A financial transaction tax has been Green Party policy for years. We endorsed the Robin Hood Tax campaign at our Spring Conference in February 2010. What we want is a game of two halves – the first half ending our subsidy for coal, and the second half substituting a Green New Deal to win.”

Notes

1. The current EU subsidy regime for coal industry expires this year. Affected regional labour markets could be regenerated by a focus on youth unemployment and employment in renewable energy industries. State aid for dirty industry has been extended six times since 1965, in contrast to G20 pledges last year to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels to slow climate change.

2. 3.2 billion Euros (£2.64 billion) of subsidies will go to six EU states this year – Poland, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia – according to a draft European Commission impact assessment, seen by Reuters.

3. If you want to follow some of the news from the G20, the lead progressive news website in Canada is ‘rabble’: (http://rabble.ca/issues/g8-g20), and the main newspaper in Toronto is
the Toronto Star: (http://www.thestar.com/topic/torontog20summit).

Published and promoted by Tracy Dighton, for the Green Party of England & Wales, both at 1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.

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