Plenary Speech – Thursday, 5th July 2012
The Rio Summit failed utterly, as did Copenhagen and Cancun before it. We have to ask why.
The truth is that no one believes in climate change any more. There has been no global warming for fifteen years. Sea levels are not rising significantly. Countries like India, China and the USA will not sacrifice economic progress for a speculative and alarmist theory of climate change. And our European taxpayers will no longer pay for it.
More and more scientists are rejecting the alarmist case. Earlier this week in this parliament we heard from Professor Fritz Vahrenholt. Professor Vahrenholt has been for decades a German socialist politician and green activist. He has been an environmental regulator, and most recently was CEO of RWE renewables.
But after a lifetime of environmentalism, he has looked again at the facts, and concluded that carbon dioxide is not a significant driver of climate. I commend to colleagues his important book “The Cold Sun”.
We’re told that renewable energy will become cost-competitive as the price of fossil fuels rises. But the price of fossil fuels is not rising. New oil finds are coming on-stream. The world is awash with natural gas. The USA and China may soon become net exporters.
And beyond shale gas we have methane hydrates which offer more energy than all other known fossil fuels reserves put together.
The price of electricity in the USA has halved on the back of shale gas. Natural gas in the USA is only a fifth of the price in Germany. How is Europe supposed to compete?
We have voluntarily made decisions on energy which will marginalise and deindustrialise Europe. We are driving energy-intensive businesses, with their jobs and investment, out of Europe altogether.
We are forcing households and pensioners into fuel poverty. We have chosen to impoverish out children and grandchildren.
Future generations will look back at this period with horror and despair. And colleagues, they will never forgive us.