MEP Erik Meijer: ‘Pronk is not the saviour of the Kyoto treaty’

27 July 2001

MEP Erik Meijer: ‘Pronk is not the saviour of the Kyoto treaty’

‘All 180 participating countries gave minister Pronk a standing ovation at he closing meeting’, a Dutch newspaper reported at the final day of the climate summit in Bonn. Member of the European Parliament for the SP Erik Meijer sees no reason to join in the applause. ‘Kyoto has been reduced to almost nothing.’

’There are no penalties for countries that don’t live up to the agreement and countries are allowed to count their forests as CO2 reducing assets. That means they only have to really reduce 1 percent instead of five.’

’Pronk paid too high a price for the participation of Canada, Japan and Australia. Thus the agreement is even weaker than it was at the summit in The Hague. The treaty wasn’t signed there because the participating countries – the ones with a left wing government in particular – wanted the United States to join at all costs. Last November in the European parliament I argued on behalf of the United Left group that is was better to have no treaty at all than a weak one. Now we have a totally excavated agreement and failed to get US support as well. The only good that came of it is that George Bush has made a complete fool of himself and manoeuvred himself into an isolated position’

Though disappointed with the result, Meijer is slightly optimistic for the future. ’In ten years time we will all agree that this agreement is an outrage. Maybe then we can make the step to substantial measures against global warming.’

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