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21 May 2019, 13:31
Julian Wettengel

Elections could mean EU loses "historic opportunity" for climate action - former French climate diplomat

Die Zeit

Parties which stand for election in the European Parliament vote this weekend may face a "historic opportunity" to set the continent on track for ambitious climate action and therefore should include bold climate policy proposals in their platforms, writes former French climate  diplomat Laurence Tubiana in a guest commentary in Die Zeit. “Only with courageous European action can we achieve greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050, prevent the worst effects of climate change and ensure a secure, stable future and prosperity for all citizens,” writes Tubiana, who now heads the European Climate Foundation (ECF)*. Should populist parties which reject multilateral cooperation make big gains in this weekend’s EU elections, and citizens give up their sense of community, the European Union might miss the chance to introduce the fundamental transformation needed to get a grip on greenhouse gas emissions, she says.

Voters across the EU will head to the polls between 23 and 26 May to elect a new European Parliament. It’s one of three major European institutions — along with the European Commission and Council — due for elections or leadership change this year. The European Parliament has historically been the most ambitious European institution when it comes to climate policy, no matter the party composition. However, the rise of populist parties with platforms that explicitly oppose climate action could challenge that cross-party consensus. The results of the election will shape EU climate and energy policy for the next five years, with major ramifications for Germany, Europe, and the global effort to create a climate-friendly economy.

*Clean Energy Wire is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.

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