One of Finland’s longest serving MEP (1999-2014), Eija-Riitta Korhola PhD, announced today her candidacy in the European elections on the list of the Moderate Coalition Party, Kokoomus. A specialist in energy, climate and human rights she has been a leading lawmaker of the EPP in emissions trading, climate change and energy. She has a PhD in environmental politics, researching the effectiveness of the EU climate policy. She is also an active human rights promoter.
In her doctoral thesis Korhola sought to explain why in spite of huge efforts so little has been gained in international climate politics. The EU hasn’t been successful either. The economic costs of climate policies to EU have been hundreds of billions of euros – perhaps more than all other environmental protection programmes combined from 1995 to 2014. However, according to Korhola, the EU has increased, not decreased its emissions.
Although the EU has been able to cut emissions according to its own targets, the increased import outside the EU outweigh the achievements in domestic reductions. Hence, if the consumption is taken into account, the EU has increased, not decreased its emissions. According to Korhola, “one basic mistake of our climate strategy is that it does not pay attention to consumption, just production. Therefore, we have outsourced our emissions but unfortunately our jobs, too. From the environmental viewpoint this can be considered as damage”, Korhola says.
”In these circumstances, the EU’s unilateral and expensive climate measures cannot be considered as ’climate’ politics. They can be called decarbonising of the production or outsourcing the jobs and emissions, but in spite of the best intentions the EU strategy so far has not tackled the global problem.”
In the past five years, Dr Korhola has served as a board member and adviser for clean tech companies. She has been a visiting senior fellow at the Tsinghua Brookings public policy department in Beijing, and a member of the steering committee of Innovation of Cool Earth Forum ICEF, an initiative of the Japanese govermnent, gathering international leading figures tackling climate change through technological innovation.