Culture 3 min read

EU Elections Show Positive Push for Climate Action Policies

As the conservatives and centrists lost extensive ground in the European Parliament, the Greens and climate action parties are among those who strengthened their foothold.

pixel2013 / Pixabay

pixel2013 / Pixabay

The European public has spoken.

Citizens across 28 nations within the European Union were called to elect their new representatives for the 2019-24 legislative period.

European voters have voiced their opinions with the results showing they prefer more and faster climate action, among their other right and left concerns.

Over the next five years, the European Parliament will be more fragmented, and its decision-making more complicated, as the results of the election show.

More Green to an Otherwise Dull EU Mosaic

The European People’s Party (EPP) and the Socialists & Democrats (S&D), respectively center-right and center-left, each lost 38 seats. With 327 seats, the traditional EPP and S&D coalition that reigned over the European Parliament for long fell short of the 371 seats required to form a majority.

The established EPP and S&D coalition retreat means others have made gains across European countries, like right-wing Euroskeptics and nationalists, and Green parties.

With the voter turnover rising to over 59% this year, there’s been what many analysts have qualified as a Green surge or wave.

With 67 MEPs, 71 projected, the Greens will allow for the emergence of a new balance of power within the European Parliament.

“It’s a very clear message from the public that they want us to do more on climate action. It will require lots of changes at an individual level, community level and also at Government level in terms of policy,” said Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

For Ska Keller, German Green MEP, the results are:

“a mandate for real change: for climate protection, a social Europe, more democracy and stronger rule of law… [the Greens] want to achieve climate action now – because if we wait any longer, it will be a disaster”.

Read More: EU Alliance Calls For Massive Climate Change Action

For some voters, they opted for the Greens out of pure awareness of the climate crisis that’s rocking the globe and a desire to see climate change seriously addressed by MEPs. For others, it’s more of a punishment vote or driven by the lack of a better choice.

But it doesn’t matter for elected Green members of the European Parliament.

In Germany, where they secured 21 seats, France (12 seats), Ireland (2 seats), and elsewhere, European Greens are self-congratulating on this strong showing. They saw the elections results as a clear signal that Europeans are calling for climate action to be at the heart of European politics.

In Europe’s new fragmented parliament, the Greens have the chance to act as a balancing power between the traditional players. However, this doesn’t mean they’d rush over to whoever reaches out to them to form coalitions or gain support.

Any group that wants Green support, as Ska was quick to point, will have to “deliver on our three key principles: climate action, civil liberties, and social justice. For us it’s clear: this is all about content.”

Read More: How Grocery Stores Can Change Opinions on Climate Change

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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