Wednesday, 8 May 2019

European Elections and climate change: policy rich, or policy free?

Today the Green Party launched their political Manifesto for the European Parliament elections to be held in two weeks’ time (


Here are some key ecological extracts:


The Green Party has a comprehensive plan to put some joy back into

our politics – to get us out of the Brexit mess, to stop climate change

before it is too late and to rebuild our communities.

A vote for the Green Party in these elections is a vote to:

»» Remain in the EU, through putting the question of Brexit back to

the people and mobilising a positive, pro-European movement to

win the People’s Vote for Remain.

»» Recharge the fight against climate change, by electing MEPs who

know we need to act now to save our wildlife, our environment

and ultimately our planet from catastrophe.

Calls for real action on climate are coming

from every corner of Britain and beyond.

No country can tackle this threat alone.

We’ll deliver a renewables revolution

across the continent.

There is a Climate Emergency and we

must be Carbon Neutral by 2030.

Climate change is the defining challenge

of our times. Without addressing climate

change, humanity will create momentous

havoc and render many parts of the globe

basically uninhabitable including the EU

and the United Kingdom. But the answer

to the climate crisis does exist: Our

energy generation must be from 100%

renewable sources, we must use our

energy efficiently, phase out fossil energy

and nuclear power whilst creating quality

sustainable jobs in affected regions.

We will drive the principles, process and

practice of a just transition towards a netzero-

emissions economy. An EU carbon

budget and a carbon tax are needed to

accelerate the climate transition. We must

cut emissions fast enough to prevent

a climate catastrophe and not breach

the Paris Climate Agreement of global

temperatures not exceeding 1.5°C of

pre-industrial levels. We advocate phasing

out coal and other fossil fuels to work to

ensure we are Carbon Neutral by 2030.

Fossil and nuclear subsidies must stop

now. Europe needs to divest from fossil

fuels and to pull private and public funds

from fossil investments.

To make this transition possible, we need

to transform the transport sector and make

trains a real alternative to planes across

Europe and overcome our dependency

on polluting cars as quickly as possible.

We need to stop the increasing pollution

from aviation and to invest extensively

in regional and cross-border railway

networks. To level the playing field

between train and air traffic, flights need

to be fairly taxed. We must also understand

and act upon the whole environmental

impact of all transport options including

shipping, particularly cruise ships.

As Greens we’ve been deeply inspired by

the sight of young people fighting for their

future in the Youth Strikes for Climate and

the citizen-led Extinction Rebellion. All our

policies draw on our understanding of the

need to protect our precious planet and the

climate that allows us to live.

Green wins during 2014-2019:

»» Ensuring that the EU committed a

target that by 2030, one third of all

energy would come from renewable


»» Achieved the phasing out of palm oil as

a biofuel in transport.

»» Introduced target for Nearly Zero

Energy Buildings (NZEBs) as standard

for all buildings by 2050.

»» Strengthening the regulation on CO2

emission standards for new heavyduty

vehicles, meaning large reductions

in their CO2 emissions.




Green ambition for 2019-2024:

»» Bring forward the principles, process

and practice for the EU to be Carbon

Neutral by 2030 which includes

phasing out of all fossil fuels,

promoting energy efficiency and a

move to 100% renewables.

»» Making subsidies to fossil fuels illegal.

»» Introducing an EU-wide frequent flyer

levy and removing the tax advantages

for the aviation industry.


a 21st century economy

Endless growth is fuelling an

environmental crisis, whilst an out of

control financial system pushes us

closer to another disastrous crash. We’ll

reprogram the economy, investing in Green

innovation and research.

The climate crisis and the collapse in

wildlife across the world means we

need to take urgent action to change the

economy. This means changing the way

we live, work and travel but it also offers

enormous opportunities to create highskilled,

well-paid jobs right across the

country. Insulating homes or installing

sustainable infrastructure has to happen in

all our communities which means bringing

jobs back home. This is what we mean by

the Green New Deal.

Europe must become the global leader

in the just transition to a carbon-neutral

circular economy through the Green New

Deal, overcoming the austerity ideology

and ensuring economic development

that benefits everyone. This promise is of

 good work and decent jobs, sustainability,

social inclusiveness, improved crisis

resilience and stability. We want to work

in partnership with employees, unions and

businesses in order to promote economic

security. With the rapid and unrestricted

growth of the digital sector we need an

effective and independent EU authority

to supervise, control and limit the market

power of big corporations.

Europe needs a common sustainable

industrial policy where manufacturing is

sensitive to the life cycle of the products

produced and for sustainable finance

which supports ethical investment but

opposes greenwashing. The development

of adequate infrastructure has to be a

high priority and emphasis must be put

on research and eco-innovation. The

development of digital technology and

clean technology shall go hand in hand,

guided by societal needs and by the

international community’s Sustainable

Development Goals. Industrial deregulation

and trade agreements must not

be allowed to undermine or stand in the

way of environmental and social progress.

The next five years will see big changes

in the way we work, with automated

technology displacing many from their

jobs. Greens are prepared to take on the

power of the digital giants to challenge

their monopoly position. This is essential to

ensure value that comes from automation

benefits us all, rather than being

channelled into the pockets of the superrich.

Green wins 2014-2019:

»» The Greens, together with partners

built up a coalition in the European

Parliament against the Investor-

State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)

mechanism in free trade agreements.

ISDS mechanisms, which were made

famous by the failed TTIP treaty, are

private tribunals, which largely privilege

big corporations against states who

may wish to regulate them.

»» Thanks to the Greens, for the first

time in Europe, firms involved in the

extraction and trade of conflict minerals

will be obliged to check whether

their supply chain has links to armed

conflicts and human rights abuses.

»» Thanks to the Greens, the Parliament

will negotiate for compulsory criteria

on labour and environmental standards

in EU Trade Agreements, paving the

way for a UN binding instrument on

business and human rights.

Green ambition for 2019-2024

»» An effective and independent EU

authority to supervise the digital sector

in order to control and limit the market

power of big corporations.

»» An EU-wide Green New Deal to

accelerate the sustainability transition

and create high-skilled jobs in all our


»» An upgrade of EU competition law to

ensure that the gains from automation

are shared fairly.



Meanwhile the newly created Brexit Party launched its European elections campaign earlier this week, but its self-appointed leader, Nigel Farage said they had no manifesto, and would only reveal their policies at the  end of July, 6  weeks after the election.

Vote for a policy rich or policy-free party if you wish!

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