“The state has a responsibility to do more to promote ecological development,” said Rua Henrik, the minister for women’s and youth affairs. “But if it comes to green growth that is good for society, then we must act.”
Others in the European Parliament echoed this sentiment. “This is one of the most important votes in the European Parliament,” said Oscar Lennia, of Portugal. “We are able to meet a European level for clean air, energy, and creating jobs in Europe.”
All those future jobs were the real reason Christian Wierzanto of the Independent Romania, said “I am voting in favor of the bill. Energy is one of the main reasons why I am interested in getting into politics. Renewable energy and continuing to reduce the large combustion engine is very important for us as a country.”
The small island country was an important battleground in one of Europe’s newest battles: one over preserving the environment while promoting economic growth.
Green Party leader Michalis Cyprian said that one in five of Greece’s labor force is made up of green workers. Many of those jobs are associated with developing renewable energy technologies, he added.
Andrea Trapani, who runs the green electricity-generation company of the Trade Union, Na rito Nazionale, says that the company is setting an example: they employ about 40 workers and more than half of them are made up of persons from minority backgrounds. He pointed out that the company has invested a million euros in energy technology research and been awarded grants.
Green campaigners say that by limiting the use of fossil fuels and focusing on renewable energy, it helps shore up countries’ positions in the most critical and growth-sapping area of environmental policy: the defense of the future of Europe.
When it comes to the future of the planet, the politicians agree: its worth fighting for.