3E Intelligence

As Ireland is getting ready for a crucial referendum on 11 June, climate change policy is being used as an argument to say “yes” to the new Lisbon Treaty. But does the EU’s “Constitution light” really help in tackling global warming? Is the current EU part of the problem or part of the solution?

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore stated on 7 June that the inclusion of climate change in the Treaty by giving it a legal basis is an indication of the EU’s leadership on the issue. Problem is that much more than a legal statement of intention is really needed for a climate change U-turn. If we want to reach any of the (moderate) IPCC targets, we will have to make radical changes to our taxation systems and this is precisely the weakest link of the European Union’s institutional structure.

Because of the unanimity rule on taxation policy (still part of the Lisbon Treaty), the Union has never been able to agree on the necessary carbon tax which would be a much better instrument than the unconvincing Emission Trading Scheme. It will also never be able to instigate the necessary shift from taxing labour to taxing declining natural resources.

This is why I would vote “No” if I were allowed to have a say on the Lisbon Treaty. This Treaty does not provide any real answer to the climate and energy crisis and should therefore be rejected.

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