A vote to register the current situation across the continent a “climate emergency” was passed by a large majority. It comes a day after an internal EU docoment revealed climate protection could cost Europe €3trillion. German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said the European Commission laid out how €300billion would be spent each year. This is part of Brussels plans for Europe to become the first carbon neutral continent by 2050.
The funds would be coming from the EU budget as well as member states and the private sector, claims the bloc paper.
New EU President Ursula von der Leyen has called for at least half the budget of the bloc to be spent on climate protection.
However, a spokesman for Ms von der Leyen said: “The cited Commission document is not known to her and it could at most be administrative considerations.”
Activists praised the move.
Sven Giegold, of the Green Party, tweeted: “Yes! The European Parliament declares Climate emergency! An important sign at the right time. These are crucial years for future generations! Very sad: large parts of the Christian Democrats have voted against it!”
However, many will see the declaration as merely a symobolic act, aimed to increased pressure on member states.
And others raged the monthly mass trip from Brussels to Strasbourg should be scrapped as starting point to dealing with the crisis.
Scottish MEP Alyn Smith said the journeys emit 19,000 tonnes of CO2.
There is also rising anger at the Strasbourg facilities carbon footprint for a building which is only open 48 days a year.
More to follow. This is a breaking news story…