The European Parliament has decided to take new, radical action in the fight against climate change. Tomorrow night, all lights will be turned off in the Parliament's buidling between 6 pm and 7.30 pm...
As the EP's Secretary General Harald Römer explained in an internal email:
"In the context of the fight against climate change, the European Parliament has committed itself to cutting down its carbon emissions by 30% by 2020. This is to be achieved through various activities, based on detailed studies, and under the political guidance of the Bureau. The European Parliament is also participating in various activities which aim at drawing the attention of European citizens to this goal.Very impressive indeed - and what better way to exemplify the EU's global leadership in tackling climate change...?
Like the previous year, the European Parliament will play its part in this event by switching off all the outside lights and the maximum possible of inside lights in the buildings at Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg, between 18.00 and 19.30. All of the Members and the staff in these three places of work and in the Information Offices in the Member States are invited to switch off, at the same time, the lights in their own offices."
For those of us not living on Planet Brussels, perhaps a better place to start would have been to end the Parliament's montly travelling circus. This utterly ridiculous exercise means that 5,000 people are transported between Brussels and Strasbourg every month, generating an extra 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year - for no good reason whatsoever.
In any case, as Johan Ingero points out, turning off the lights in the EP on a Friday afternoon shouldn't be much of a hassle , given that at that time virtually all MEPs are long gone for the weekend already.