The European Parliament -EP- is unique. It is the only directly elected supranational parliament in the world. It is also quite especial for having two meeting places; Brussels and Strasbourg.
The recently released study on the carbon footprint of the EP confirms the fact that commuting between the two seats is not only stupid but also envirnmentally harmful.
If we look at the distribution of Green House Gas (GHG) per source at world level we see that transport causes 13,5% of GHG, whilst electricity and heat represent 25%. It is quite shocking that the EP is close to producing 30% of its GHG from transport costs (home to work commuting, duty travel between and outside the three main working sites and transport using official and hired cars). This is more than twice as much than the average!!
The study doesn’t reveal how much of this 30% of GHG is caused by commuting from Brussels to Strasbourg. What is clear is that whatever these emissions could be easily saved just by stopping the commuting.
The Resolution of the Parliament of 24 April 2007 decided to cut the EP carbon emissions by 30% by 2020. Stopping the commuting between Brussels and Strasbourg is something feasible, sensible, necessary and it even has a political majority in the house, among the governments and among the citizens.
The step number one to reduce the carbon footprint of the EP has to be stopping this travelling circus!