Three years ago, the EU played a major role in the Paris Agreement – it is time to bring that to life! After all, the goals set are still far too low to meet the international law obligations from this agreement. The historical emissions of the EU are not even taken into account. The brakes and procrastinators are numerous and noisy – but every day that we let go of climate protection goes to waste our children and grandchildren. The technological possibilities are there, and even cheaper than ever. With an investment boost – in clean energy and intelligent mobility, in durable products and sustainable buildings – we can create good work and added value in Europe instead of spending hundreds of billions of euros annually on heating up the atmosphere and the profits of arms producers. In most of the countries from which we import oil and gas, none of us would want to live. It is also a contribution to peace policy if the wars for raw materials are not further fueled.
In order to get out of fossil fuels as quickly as possible, a reasonable minimum CO2 price is finally needed. Plannable, increasing steadily, without exceptions and back doors. The income is given back to the people as energy per capita, the companies according to the share of wages. Those who use little energy or rely on renewable energies benefit. Industry and commerce finally have reliable figures with which they can calculate efficiency measures. This surge in investment creates good work. Energy-intensive imports are subject to WTO-compliant tariffs in the same amount. And if trade agreements are already being concluded instead of strengthening the WTO, climate protection agreements are a must! I want to campaign for an honest CO2 price in the European Parliament.
Europe is rich in renewable energies. Using them will bring added value to both the sunny south and the windy north. And the goals of the Paris climate agreement, including the rescue of the Pacific island states, can only be achieved with a Europe-wide coal phase-out. But there are still many people who work in the coal regions of Europe. Whether in Lusatia, Upper Silesia or in the Ostrava Basin: together with those affected, it is important to develop fair solutions for structural change. With the already adopted regulations on citizen energy, people in the EU are finally being given the opportunity to take their energy supply into their own hands. The example of Germany has shown what potential this releases. What an opportunity! Europe can be supplied with clean energy in a democratic and decentralized way, instead of by state-owned companies or large corporations using fossil-atomic slingshots. I’m not fooling myself: the resistance is strong because it’s about a lot of money. It is all the more important to me to work in the European Parliament to strengthen citizens’ energy!
The urgency of climate protection must not distract us from the need to phase out nuclear power across Europe. Since the Brexit is probably irreversible, this fact opens up a “window of opportunity”: with the withdrawal of Great Britain from the more than 60-year-old nuclear energy promotion contract Euratom there is a chance to finally reform this contract. Europe’s citizens have a right to security and protection from the EU, because radiation does not end at borders. Strict security standards and clear liability rules must be laid down in the new Euratom Treaty. I don’t want to experience that after two super meltdowns due to incorrect operation (Chernobyl) and natural disaster (Fukushima), a super meltdown due to material fatigue takes place here in Europe.
Our current mobility behavior as individuals, but also as a society, is incompatible with the Paris climate goals. In private transport, rail and public transport, cycling and walking must finally be given priority. Many billions of euros that still flow from Brussels into the construction of new roads need to be redirected so that future-proof, networked mobility can become a reality across Europe. In particular, cross-border rail traffic seems to have stopped in the 20th century: Different standards at national level make it more difficult to shift freight and passenger traffic to rail. But let’s not kid ourselves: even with a massive rail expansion program, it wouldn’t be possible to get all truck traffic off the streets. Because transportation is just too cheap. That is why it pays off to ship products and food across Europe because of the relatively small work steps involved. To counteract this, price signals are needed. That is what I want to do in the European Parliament.
For real climate protection, it is also necessary to protect the CO2 sinks. Half of the European bogs have already been drained and have lost the important ability to store carbon. Although peatlands only cover three percent of the land surface, they store more than a third of the carbon accumulated in the soil, more than the forest. In Western Europe it is important to rewet drained bogs; In the Central and Eastern European countries, extensive areas can be protected. This measure helps protect the climate as well as nature conservation – I want to work for this in the European Parliament.
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