EU Climate Control – Operation Hair Shirt

Following the devastation of World War Two a small group of people came together and made a simple plan of how to stop Europe from going to war with itself for the third time. The plan was as ingenious as it was sadly flawed. In order to foster closer ties among member states they would simply form a closer economic relationship between themselves … in order to allow for a closer political union. That first bit was genius, why go to war with someone you’re in business with. That second part however has been inflated out of all proportion. An economic union, what is now the EU started as the European Coal and Steel Community, has now become so mutated that it is actually making policies against its initial economic function.

All member states of the European Union must cut Carbon emissions by 40% compared to 1990 levels and the target is to produce 27% of its energy from renewable energy. The good news is that the EU is on course to cut its carbon emissions by 25% by 2020 so it is possible to reach the Carbon reduction plan the not so good news is that as of 2010 we produce 8% of our energy from renewable resources. However is must be noted that Mr Cameron was successful is changing the renewable target from a requirement to a target so hats go off to him.

This new policy is something of a catch 22 for Mr Cameron as it will be derided by many as being an economic noose during this period of low growth while others say that it isn’t enough and that for starters the target should be legally enforced. But as unusual as it may be to suggest, there is one manner that Mr Cameron can use this ugly duckling to his advantage and that is green business. If Mr Cameron can pressure energy companies, research groups (like University’s) and others to put more money and research into green energy solutions and job creation then he can turn this global warming problem into his advantage. I would not be stupid enough to say that this would be easy but if he can do so then re-claim the employment issue and gain credibility on green issues as the man with the solution. Not easy but possible.

Which leaves the last question a simple one. What manner of man is Mr Cameron, a great or ordinary leader because how strong he is coming out of this will be determined by how he responds to an issue that will only get more vocal.

‘Great men are forged in fire, it is the privilege of lesser men* to light the flame’

*Looking at European Commission President Jose Manuel here

Jack Fennell


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