A banner was simultaneously unfurled that read: “EC – Free Us From Climate Disaster.”
The report is below.
AIR RAID SIRENS WAIL AS EC STARTS CLIMATE TALKS
April 23, 1993, Press Association
LUXEMBOURG, Friday – Activists from Greenpeace set off a deafening air raid siren as European Community energy and environment ministers began talks today on their promises to fight global warming. As the siren wailed and confused security guards looked on, Greenpeace activists climbed onto the roof of the entrance to the building where the 24 ministers were gathering and unfurled a banner saying: “EC – Free Us From Climate Disaster.” The meeting inside was already billed as a doomed attempt by Denmark, chairing the meeting as current EC president, to broaden support for an EC tax on carbon and energy that would help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by burning oil, coal and other fossil fuels. CO2 has been blamed as the main gas responsible for changing the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere and scientists widely believe that this presents a serious threat to the environment through rising waters, storms, and health epidemics. The EC agreed in 1990 to stabilise its CO2 output at 1990 levels by the year 2000 but Community capitals have been quarelling since then about how to live up to the pledge. Denmark has the support of Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Italy. France is generally in favour but does not want any levy that hurts nuclear power. Britain leads the anti-tax camp, arguing that it does not see the need for joint EC-wide tax action and that it does not want to bear the burden of greater curbs on CO2 output than it has already planned just to give poorer EC countries more leeway to boost their industrial development. Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland, the four poorest EC members, believe the more economically advanced countries should bear a far greater weight then them in meeting the CO2 curbs and are reluctant to sign up to a tax.