Kartika Liotard speaks at United Left Climate Conference in Athens

5 December 2009

Kartika Liotard speaks at United Left Climate Conference in Athens

On Thursday SP Member of the European Parliament Kartika Liotard was in Athens to speak at a conference entitled "Positions of the Left for a binding and fair global agreement on climate change". The conference was organised by the United Left, the European Parliamentary group to which the SP is affiliated. Liotard used her speech in Athens to argue that “it is not the interests of big corporations in the industrialised countries but the interests that we all share in a sustainable future which should should carry most weight at the climate conference in Copenhagen.”

United Left Euro-MPs (from left to right): Takis Hadjigeorgiou (Cyprus), Nikos Chountis (Greece), Marisa Matias (Portugal) and Kartika Liotard

Liotard said, however, that she had noticed during the last few weeks that the climate accord is threatening to go badly wrong. "This urgently needed climate accord won't be about what's good or what's just for all of us. It will be about vested interests. The interests of the industrialised countries and of major corporations, intellectual property rights and big business carry more weight in the present system of global relations than does our common interest in a sustainable world,” she said during her speech. “Everyone agrees that we need a climate accord, but to date no country has been willing to commit itself to concrete emission limitations, only conditional promises. Industrialised countries certainly want to limit their emissions, but only if other countries will do the same. And we don't need an accord in which nuclear energy is expressly cited as a solution to the environmental problem instead of part of the problem, and this is just what now looks like happening.”

MEPs with Environment Commissioner Dimas (from left to right): Marisa Matias (Portugal), European Commissioner Stavros Dimas, Alexis Tsipras (Leader of the parliamentary group of SYRIZA, a coalition of left parties in the Greek national parliament), Nikos Chountis (Greece) and Kartika Liotard.

Whilst in Athens Kartika Liotard also met with European Commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas to discuss the climate problematic and the coming climate conference in Copenhagen. When Liotard asked the Commissioner how he saw the role of nuclear energy in relation to climate policy, Dimas answered that he was “personally against nuclear energy as part of a climate-friendly energy-mix, but the European Commission has officially no opinion on this.” As Liotard says, “So what we'll see once again is that Sarkozy will force through his wishes so that Europe can regard nuclear power as climate-friendly, without having any real solution to the problem of nuclear waste."

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