Expatica news

Groen! pushes to fill climate minister post

6 April 2007

BRUSSELS – There will be no repeat of the 2004 scenario. After the Flemish elections, party chairperson Vera Dua of Groen! quickly opted for joining the opposition when her party was defeated in the elections of 2003.

But self-confidence seems to have grown in 2007 and with five parliamentary seats in the offing, the ecologists are prepared to take part in the government if Groen! may fill the post of Climate Minister.

PS faction leader Elio Di Rupo too has already indicated that Groen! is welcome. “The environmental challenges are too huge to leave the party on the side lines,” Vera Dua, the party chairperson commented in De Standaard.

“We are faced with a major change, an historic opportunity. Just as after World War II when a social pact was concluded which laid the foundation for our social security, we should now conclude an ecological pact after the elections. We may not miss the boat again. The coming ten to twenty years will be crucial. “

Dua feels that the new government should, in its coalition agreement, lay down clearly defined plans on how to combat global warming.

“One percent of the Gross National Product should be set aside for environmental efforts. A plan should be set out: by 2030 Belgium ought to have reduced CO2 emissions by half and in 2050 by 80 percent”.

Only the greens can deliver a credible Climate Minister, Dua said. Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt is enraptured by Al Gore, but when it comes to taking concrete measures against global warming, he introduced a tax on plastic bags. That won’t be enough.”

Dua has no confidence in the socialists of the federal government. Nor does she have confidence the Flemish Minister for the Environment Kris Peeters (CD&V).

“When push comes to shove, they do not choose for the environment but for the economy. Our politicians talk far too much about climate change but they fail to take action. “

“We are under the impression that the three large parties are mainly concerned about who will deliver the next prime minister. It is also true that other parties have already sounded us out and promised to help us win a majority if need be.” 

Dua feels that the change in mentality is hopeful. In particular Al Gore’s film ‘An Inconvenient Truth ‘has been an eye opener. “No one says that the greens are exaggerating any longer or that it won’t be so bad.”

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news