Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Labour game playing threatens key Climate talks - could Caroline Lucas help?

While the atmosphere at Westminster heats up in advance of The Vote tomorrow night, our attention has been diverted from the fact that something else is warming up - the planet - and unless concerted, global action is taken soon, we are going to be at the mercy of some cataclysmic changes.

In order to try and avoid that, the latest UN Climate Change Conference is taking place in Cancun. At last, in Chris Huhne, the UK finally has an effective Environment Minister who knows what he's talking about and could play a major role in bringing people together. Or at least he could if he didn't have to fly home to vote tomorrow night.

It is convention that when a minister is away on Government business, that the opposition organises it so that one of its members don't vote. That's a reasonable arramgement which enables the Government to carry out its international obligations.

There aren't many more important international issues than climate change, and Chris Huhne already outlined his concerns that the momentum behind the :UN effort might fall away. From the BBC report above,

"What worries me is that there will be countries that say the game here, this particular forum, isn't worth a candle," he told BBC News.
"It will peter out, it won't vanish. People next year won't send a senior minister, they will send a junior minister, and then the year after they will send a senior civil servant. In a few years' time it will be the local ambassador, and it will wither on the vine.
"That's not what we want here. We want a sense that there is renewed momentum so people are coming back next year with a real sense they want to reach a deal."
Chris has been asked by the UN to sort out a compromise on the Kyoto Protocol. No pressure, then! Unfortunately, because Labour are playing silly games, it looks like he's going to have to leave this vital work to cast his vote in the debate. What a waste of a trip, and for no good reason. 

It's clear that this comes right from the top in the Labour Party. Ed Miliband's office is clearly exploiting the fact that the vote is likely to be tight and is flying in the face of organisations like Oxfam and Christian Aid who acknowledge the vital role this country represented by Chris has in brokering a deal on climate change.
Oppositions play games, we know that - but there are limits. Ed Miliband, the former climate change secretary whose achievements in that office seem to have passed me by, should no better than to jeopardise an intensive international effort.
He should think again - or, actually, there's another solution, put forward by A C McGregor on Twitter, quoted with permission.!/A_C_McGregor
@ needs an opposition MP to pair and let him stay at Cancun Summit... asked @ ?
Surely the Green MP would want to do her bit to enable Chris Huhne to stay at the Conference and continue his efforts to further the cause of global action to prevent climate change?


Mike said...

Pair up with a Lib Dem then. Labour didn't choose the date, it isn't Labour's responsibility to ensure that Lib Dems can break their pledges.

dougf said...

"That's not what we want here. We want a sense that there is renewed momentum so people are coming back next year with a real sense they want to reach a deal."

Well that's what I want to happen there(namely a slow lingering unpleasant death by indifference), but each to his/her own I suppose.
There will be No-One coming back anywhere next year unless that person wants a free vacation somewhere. Huhne should consider himself lucky to still be Minister if he does not get a viable energy policy in place soon. And by viable I don't mean WIND.

The warming cult is dying and nothing can save it. Even the cultists themselves are beginning to see that the game is over.

Not with a bang but a whimper.

A C McGregor said...

Thanks for the quote. Sadly, I don't think Caroline Lucas actually reads Twitter comments directed at her, so I doubt this will happen :(

Chris Huhne's work in Cancun is of great importance, and I for one hope that he manages to stay and complete it, despite Labour childishness.

Anonymous said...

"...another Lib Dem MP, Martin Horwood, will also remain in Cancun - he had said he would consider voting against the fees package so he and Mr Huhne effectively cancel each other out."


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