Un-blocking climate action: Parliament wants Council to vote
Brussels/Strasbourg - Ahead of UN climate negotiations that resume Monday in Doha, Qatar, the European Parliament has today urged the Council of Ministers to use majority voting, in line with treaty rules, to move forward with both domestic and international climate action. The move is strongly welcomed by WWF.After the vote, Mark Johnston, Senior Policy Adviser at WWF European Policy Office said:
“Parliament has reminded the Council that ministers must stick to the rules when deciding climate and other policies. We strongly welcome this. By acting outside the law, the Council is delaying much needed climate action at home and it waters down Europe’s position in global negotiations. Such a situation is a fundamental disservice to citizens in Europe and around the world. It cannot continue. If the treaties say voting is the rule, then voting it must be.”
Parliament’s call, adopted by 485 votes for to 109 against, was part of an overall resolution on the Doha conference and follows in particular the Council’s failure earlier this year to endorse long-term climate and energy 2050 roadmaps when the veto of a single member state was accepted by other ministers. Such a procedure has no basis in law.
Notes to editors:
1. Parliament will send a delegation of fifteen members to the Doha conference. The relevant paragraph of Parliament's resolution is copied below:
81. Expresses its concern that the informal practice of waiting for consensus among all Council delegations is delaying urgent climate action and consequently urges the Council to act on the basis of qualified majority voting at all times, in accordance with the Treaties, in particular for general acts under Article 16(3) TEU and specifically under Article 218(8) TFEU ‘at all stages of the procedure’ of reaching international agreements;
2. WWF is pursuing the Council’s faulty decision-making procedure using access to document law. In a first transparency case answered on 24 September, ministers claimed they were “unable to identify” any document describing the basis on which they were operating. In a second case answered on, the Council said it had now found such a document (a 2004 legal opinion) but it refused to grant public access to this. A third case (for a new legal opinion dated 16 October 2012) remains pending and is expected to be answered in January 2013. Six MEPs have also tabled a written question (E-8085/2012) eight weeks ago on the same topic that the Council so far had failed to replied to. For further information, please see WWF press statements on 24 September and 13 November 2012.
For further information: