‘I salute you, Nigel!’ Finnish MEP hails Farage as she fires warning to ‘illegitimate’ EU

Laura Huhtasaari questions efficiency of electric cars

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Ms Huhtasaari, who represents the right-wing Finns party in the assembly, was speaking during a debate on the European Climate Law, which targets climate neutrality by 2050 and a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 55 percent by 2030. And Ms Huhtasaari, who believes her country should take a leaf out of the UK’s book by quitting the bloc altogether, took the opportunity to praise the former Brexit Party leader, who was likewise an MEP for 20 years, before bowing out in 2019.

Salute to Nigel Farage

Laura Huhtasaari

She said: “It is the 24th June, the anniversary of the anniversary of Brexit – salute to Nigel Farage.

“Everybody wants to protect nature – the problem is just the means.

“By 2030 in the EU the aim is for tens of millions of persons to start using electric cars.

“Where do we get the sea of free electricity from? Do we produce additional electricity with coal and oil?

“A modern diesel car is a more climate-friendly vehicle than a car charged with carbon-based electricity.

“Finns do have their voices heard in the EU, but in the decision-making, it is not actually seen.”

Ms Huhtasaari, who was actually speaking a day after anniversary of the referendum, which took place on June 23, 2016, added: “The nuclear power that is important for Finland is under threat and with coal energy the EU is not listening to Finland, and also hydropower is not considered.

“Also Finnish forestry is not taken into account in the forest strategy.

“If now the Commission tries to socialise the Finnish forests, then the Finns will have to question the whole legitimacy of the EU.”

Negotiators from Parliament and the EU’s 27 member countries reached a deal in April on the climate law, which puts tougher emissions-cutting targets at the heart of EU policymaking, and it was approved by MEPs today.

Swedish Social Democrat Jytte Guteland, said: “Today is a historic day.

“Unless we rapidly cut our emissions, the science is crystal clear. The future will be catastrophic.”

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Parliament formally approved the law with 442 votes in favour, 203 against and 51 abstentions.

Some Green lawmakers abstained, after seeking a more ambitious 60 percent emission cut by 2030.

Lawmakers from groups including the right-wing Identity and Democracy rejected it.

Frans Timmermans, head of EU climate policy, said: “This is the law of laws, because it will discipline us in the years to come.”

The climate law will guide EU regulations in the coming decades.

First up is a sweeping package of policies, which the European Commission will propose on July 14, designed to cut emissions faster to meet the climate targets. It will include more ambitious renewable energy targets, EU carbon market reforms and tighter CO2 standards for new cars.

Most EU laws are designed to meet the bloc’s previous target to cut emissions 40 percent by 2030, and need upgrading to meet the new aims.

EU emissions in 2019 were 24 percent lower than in 1990.

The new targets are designed to put the EU on a pathway that, if followed globally, would limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degree Celsius.

Scientists say that would avoid the most severe impacts of climate change. Already deadly heatwaves, flooding and strong storms are battering countries and temperatures are more than 1C above pre-industrial levels.

Representatives from the EU’s member countries will formally approve the law on Monday. Parliament and the EU will then sign the text, a formal step, before it becomes law.

The law also requires Brussels to create an independent body of scientific experts to advise on climate policies, and a greenhouse gas budget to define the total emissions the EU can produce from 2030-2050 and still meet its climate goals.

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