Sunday, 21 February 2016

General Election 2016 - what are the Parties real views on Green Energy ?

 Show me your friends and I'll show you your future - Anonymous

We can best tell what each Party's real views on green energy by looking at what groupings they join in the European Parliament. Last year the Commission presented it's energy union package outlining how it intends to achieve Europe's transition to a low carbon economy. 

Fine Gael are joined with the European People's Party (EPP), Sinn Fein are joined with European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), and Labour are joined with Socialists and Democrats (S&D). Fianna Fail's current grouping is more problematic as discussed below.

The EPP, S&D and ALDE groups were more positive to the energy strategy, welcoming its enhanced focus on security and climate.

Fine Gael's grouping thought the energy union would lead to cheaper energy : 

The EPP found the proposals to be in line with the group's priority to assure "cheaper energy for citizens and enterprises". 

Labour's grouping wanted binding targets :

The S&D was pleased with the inclusion of a decarbonisation target but reiterated its call for binding targets to achieve the goals set by the strategy. 

Sinn Fein's Green leftist grouping surprisingly disapproved of the proposals :

GUE/NGL on the other hand disapproved of the proposals to involve the commission in energy agreements, unless it was requested by the member states concerned. 

 Sinn Fein's grouping are campaigning for 100% renewables by 2050, so it's uncertain as to why they disapproved of an energy union :

Fianna Fail were joined with ALDE, a pro green energy group, but their remaining MEP last year defected to the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR), the same grouping that has the British Tories and Ulster Unionist Party. The ECR seem to be pro-renewables but without the subsidies. They also support the extraction of shale gas. The Fianna Fail leader threatened to sack their MEP at the time he left the ALDE group but it appears as if he is still a Fianna Fail member.  So it's uncertain as to where Fianna Fail stand on the issue from a European perspective but they have recently issued a call for a full economic review into wind energy :,36278,en.pdf

Should they end up in power with Fine Gael and Labour, how much will they be forced to compromise on this promise ? Presumably it will end up on the sidelines like Alan Kelly's guidelines ?

RENUA, one of the newest political parties in Ireland are the only party to actually come out against wind energy : 

“Increasingly these main justifications[of wind energy] are falling apart,” it said. “Renua Ireland does not believe the economic case being made by supporters of wind farms and pylons, and throughout Europe wind farm energy is seen now as being a source of dear rather than cheap energy.

Again the compromise question arises here.

Lastly, there are no Irish MEPs aligned with the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) who are mostly against wind energy and the uneconomic renewable energies and includes UKIP. 

Most interestingly, it was Roger Helmer, an Englishman and member of UKIP, who asked a Parliamentary Question in the European Parliament on the EU and Ireland's lack of compliance with the Aarhus Convention :

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