If the EU and its global partners really want to tackle issues such as climate change, recycling, waste, emissions and pollution, food quality and food security, then the EU needs to adopt sensible and sustainable measures which do not place unnecessary and costly burdens on businesses and Member States. Rather than unrealistic targets which will never be fulfilled or properly implemented, the ECR Group supports an ambitious, incremental, and sensible approach that all Member States can support.
The ECR Group led through the Parliament, the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme also known as ETS. The agreement reached was a world first, and to date, the largest agreement for cutting man made greenhouse gas emissions. The scheme puts a monetary value on carbon emissions, in order to reflect the costs of climate change and the opportunities for low-carbon options to be introduced into the EU’s production and consumption choices.
The changes introduced by this scheme, strike the right balance between the EU’s long-term climate commitments, whilst also ensuring that European industries are protected from being undercut by external competitors operating lower emissions standards.
The ECR Group also led the way on the important issue of air quality, and the need for clean air in Europe. Poor air quality is an urgent public health issues. The cross border implications of air quality means that we need to work together with our EU neighbours to tackle it. Poor air quality contributes to premature death, to sickness absences from work, significant healthcare costs, crop yield loss and damage to buildings.
In Europe, the total external health-related costs to society from air pollution are colossal, and estimated to be in the range of 330 - 940 billion Euros per year. With these new commitments in place, which set new air quality ceilings on emissions for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, and aligning targets for 2020 with international commitments and more ambitious targets through to 2030, the health impact of air pollution is estimated to be reduced by about 50 percent in 2030 compared to 2005.
The world is experiencing an unparalleled surge in the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products. This is threatening to overturn decades of hard-won conservation gains. The illegal trafficking of wildlife and wildlife products has become one of the most profitable criminal activities worldwide, with estimates of its total value lying between 8 - 20 billion Euros annually.
ECR MEPs led a report which outlines the very serious challenges and obstacles needed to be overcome by the EU and countries worldwide if they are to succeed in reducing, and ultimately eliminating these awful crimes against wildlife. In this report, the ECR Group provides a number of recommendations and solutions for the EU, its Member States, and the international community to act upon, in order to deal with this growing problem. The ECR Group will continue fighting to keep animal welfare and crimes against wildlife at the top of the political agenda.
The ECR Group has been the voice of common sense within the European Parliament when it comes to striking the right balance between ensuring a prosperous fishing sector for national fishermen, meeting the demands of consumers, and ensuring that the yield of fishing in the EU is sustainable.
The sea is one of our most rich resources on the planet, and we need to protect it whilst feeding a growing population. A sustainable fishing and farming sectors is one which protects the environment, provides sustainable produce for consumers, and protects its fishermen and farmers. The ECR knows that science is a major component of the future of farming and fishing. It is important that we harness technology for the good of producers and consumers and that is exactly what ECR Members have been doing in their everyday work.