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Towards a low-carbon Europe

u talk

Towards a low-carbon Europe

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In this edition of U-talk Fabián, in Spain, asks: “In a world whose economic model is based on oil consumption, do you as a European ecologist think we can do without oil as the ruling factor for economic growth?”

Green MEP Raül Romeva i Rueda responds: “Well Fabián, a lot of us have asked ourselves that. We really have no choice but to ask it. We can’t go on the way we are now. We can’t go on consuming fossil fuels such as oil. We absolutely have to find alternatives.

“There is no shortage of options. It’s rather the political will that isn’t there. That stops us going in the right direction. I’ll say it again: any analysis is to understand that the current way is untenable. It’s impossible. We’re heading straight for the wall. So, let’s say change is indispensable and let’s look for solutions. What are they? Let’s start by saving energy, using less, rationalising consumption and bringing production centres closer to where the energy is used.

“Secondly, we have to aim for sustainable energy, non-polluting and less dangerous. It’s up to us to invest the maximum to encourage clean and renewable energies. Thirdly, and this is fundamental, our thinking has to change.

“These ideas will only go anywhere when a majority of people have decided that way, and when they support the institutions. I’ll explain: there are two fundamental elements. Society must first want to integrate these changes, and that means changing a mentality. Then, the institutions will be responsible for moving the project along.

“Where should the decisions be taken? In the institutions. Of course, it’s very good to demonstrate, to take the fight to the street, but it’s not enough. If the fight doesn’t make through the institutions’ doors, we’ll never get these ideas accepted by the majority.”

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