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« The survey that wasn't | Main | Paterson on renewables »

The green agenda

Brussels has placed itself on a collision course with Britain's ruling Conservative party by issuing a blunt warning on the dangers of stifling the green agenda.

As David Cameron faced pressure from the Tory right to adopt a more confrontational approach to the EU, Europe's environment chief spoke out against critics of environmental regulations for making "untrue" claims.

Janez Potočnik, the European environment commissioner, told the Guardian that for politicians to suggest that green legislation was a burden was "very unhelpful, because it is untrue".

Personally, I'm all for a bit of green agenda stifling.

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Reader Comments (19)

Working in the Civil Works department of the local council in Australia. I can attest to it being very difficult to impossible to do any construction work in/near a river or water course. Hell, a marsh, a tree, a frog, you name we'll find it.

Construction costs have gone through the roof, when we finally get permission at all. Maintenance costs have gone a hugely because of burdensome, and some times ridiculous environmental requirements and/or authorisation.

Personally, I'd like to see environmental legislation cut in half. It might be a bit more sensible at that. There are a lot of hidden costs to the community, for dubious gains (if any gains).

Oct 10, 2012 at 6:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterGreg Cavanagh

This is yet another example of an overpaid, unelected, foreign bureaucrat interfering in our lives. The sooner we leave the EU the better.

Oct 10, 2012 at 6:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby


Mr Paterson said he would write to the Department of Energy with his view on ending green subsidies as part of a Government review of support for renewable energy

Writing to DECC won't do any good. We need actions not words and the DECC bastion of green alarmism aren't going to take any notice of Patterson and do anything as sensible as removing the subsidies.

Oct 10, 2012 at 7:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby


I know no other person that has been so tireless in pursuit of windfarmers than yourself but you should take this as at least an incremental movement in favour of that just cause.

Oct 10, 2012 at 7:31 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

When has there been a time of such stifling directed uniformity in a markets system purpose outside the old soviet bloc? The astonishing thing is no one seems to even speculate that the reason the western economies have remained so moribund is the determined focus on making genuine variation and innovation illegal by pretending to have picked a desired winner in “green development”.

The "very unhelpful” line just sounds like the typical parasitical apparatchiks fear for their own positions. Maybe the Tories have a genuine USP and determination in moving away from euro delusion that is scaring some people? Time will tell.

Oct 10, 2012 at 7:31 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

ssat: I don't see any movement - just words. I would like to think that this is a turning point. However, the plethora of applications for wind developments shows no signs of abating and the number of applications for huge solar farms is on the increase again. An instant reduction of subsidies is the only thing that will improve the situation.

Oct 10, 2012 at 7:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

If a green political objective can bypass the democratic process then why even have a vote? Oh.. must be one of those Guardian things.

Oct 10, 2012 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterSparks

The print version of the Paterson article has a number of differences compared to the online version. Some of the language used in print is quite reassuringly robust, including a suggestion that wind-farms are causing "public insurrection". Nonetheless, I've little doubt Phillip B is right to urge caution, and I hope we will all keep on trying our best to put pressure on our representatives. The subsidies need to be removed or equalized; power stations have to be built or refurbished; the climate act has to be repealed or neutered.

Oct 10, 2012 at 8:12 AM | Registered CommenterPhilip Richens

The recent letter to government from companies including M&S is pivotal because some of these corporations intend to profit by installing their own subsidised wind farms.

Unchecked this would lead to the population being directly taxed at gunpoint by aggressive corporations, my definition of a fascist state.

Oct 10, 2012 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Annoying the Eurocrats is usually a surefire indication that one is on the right track.

Seriously pissing them off merely provides confirmation.

Oct 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

"Very unhelpful" i.e. true, and how dare you draw people's attention to it. All these EU apparatchiks remind me of Strelnikov in Dr. Zhivago. The people are going to get what we think is good for them whether they like it or not.

As for windfarms, one can only hope the 'Minister of Sound' actually has the ability to stop DECC in their tracks. I daresay Mr. Cameron won't wish to upset his rent-seeking father-in-law and other assorted landed friends and relations.

Oct 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterSebastian Weetabix

All our governments signed up to the UN Agenda 21 action plan for sustainable development agreed at the Rio Summit in 1992. The EU is implementing it in its regulations and most borough councils are implementing it with the help of the UN's International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives - ICLEI and with numerous expensive consultants on the gravy train here.
It was decided by the Blair government that all local authorities should prepare their own action plans to meet the agreed objectives of Agenda 21. Check out your own council. If they do not have a sustainability website then they will certainly have a phone number for an LA21 council officer.

Here is one example taken at random:

Notice that Agenda 21 concerns planning every aspect of our way of life on the basis that it is for the general good. You may remember that rural post offices started closing. It is laid out in Agenda 21 that only large conurbations are sustainable and village living is to be discouraged.

Watch Rosie Koire explain it to an American audience.

Relevant government departments are simply following the agenda and see no need to consult us. How many people realise that this is where it is all coming from? Those UN Earth Summits cannot be regarded anymore as harmless.

Oct 10, 2012 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterEForster

Re M&S
As I had some involvement with the M&S supply chain for 5 years, I can say that under Stuart Rose they were zealots in their CO2 reduction / carbon neutral efforts. As I wasn't an M&S employee I can't say whether this was driven by a "religious" belief or financial concerns; but I was always careful about "careless talk".

You'll see it on their lorries "Plan A because there is no Plan B".

Oct 10, 2012 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Anything that reminds the government that the EU is not to be trusted is OK with me.

Oct 10, 2012 at 1:35 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp


Well said, keep banging out the message.

Oct 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM | Registered CommenterDung

They've done it again, where do they dig 'em up from?

Oct 10, 2012 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

"Personally, I'm all for a bit of green agenda stifling".........
.....preferably with a large goose-feather pillow!

Oct 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered Commentermeltemian

Y'know, Brussels is a nice enough town but sometimes you really think the one thing it needs above all else is a nice airstrike...

Oct 10, 2012 at 7:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

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