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Investing in Low Carbon Technologies

Plenary Speech - Thursday, 11th March 2010

Madam President

We have heard a lot of nonsense today about green jobs. The fact is that our obsession with renewables is already driving up the cost of electricity and forcing European citizens into fuel poverty.

Higher energy prices mean that energy-intensive businesses in Europe will simply give up and go away, to more favourable jurisdictions. Higher energy prices mean lower growth and higher unemployment, and they cost jobs. I have only seen one formal study into this question of green jobs. That was in Spain, and it demonstrated that, for every single job created in the green sector, 2.2 jobs were lost elsewhere.

If we are really serious about low-carbon electricity, there is only one solution and that is nuclear power. Across Europe we are starting to talk about new nuclear capacity, and that is good. If we want to keep the lights on, we need a nuclear renaissance, and it we need it fast.