June 24, 2024

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Europe’s landmark Green Deal at risk after EU elections slash Green MEP headcount by 25%

2 min read

This weekend’s European Union elections marked the end of the bloc’s greenest parliament ever after concerns over everything from climate policies to migration gave the populists a boost.

The Greens, whose rise five years ago helped the 27-nation bloc embrace the world’s most ambitious climate strategy, emerged in all but tatters from a ballot that ended on Sunday. Climate-friendly liberals also suffered a massive blow from voters while far-right nationalist parties strengthened their position in countries from Germany to Italy.

The results won’t topple the Green Deal. The mainstream parties that supported the sweeping plan to decarbonize the bloc’s economy retained a majority. But they risk weakening the resolve of governments when they turn the policy into reality through measures that will affect households from Lisbon to Helsinki. There will also likely be some bickering among new lawmakers over future measures to meet the net zero target.

“The Green Deal will stay alive but not necessarily kicking,” said Maximo Miccinilli, head of energy and climate at the consultant firm FleishmanHillard EU. “The EU should be able to defend measures that were already adopted for this decade but proposals for a new goal for 2040 will be a huge test for the new parliament.”

Governments across the continent and the EU leadership in Brussels have already come under pressure to soften their ambition as discontent over green policies sparked protests and added to worries about rising costs of living and migration. 

The most difficult steps to meet the EU’s ambitious 2030 climate goal of cutting greenhouse gases by 55% from 1990 levels are yet to be implemented. In 2027, the EU is due to launch a new carbon market for heating and transport fuels, a move that will impact consumers. By 2035, all new passenger cars will have to be emissions-free, effectively one step closer to sending the combustion engine to the museum.

“Populist parties…

Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg

2024-06-11 05:18:32

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