Thursday, May 7, 2009

European Economic Recovery Plan

With just 4 weeks to go now until polling day for the European elections, yesterday the European Parliament gave its final seal of approval to the European Commission's proposed €5 billion economic recovery plan.

The measures approved include a focus on investment in green and renewable energies such as wind power and carbon capture and storage pilot projects to capture CO2 from power stations and store it underground in geological formations.

Specific projects to the value of €500 million have been identified in the UK alone, including electricity interconnectors in the North Sea between Ireland and Wales, integration to the North Sea grid of offshore wind farms, new wind turbines in Scotland and carbon capture and storage projects for coal-fired power plants in England and Scotland.

I voted in support of the plan although I made it clear I would have liked to see much more ambitious proposals with an emphasis on tackling youth unemployment as we need to give the younger generation hope for the future, complementing Chancellor Alistair Darling's announcement in his budget speech that all young people out of work for over a year would be guaranteed either a job or a place in training.

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