What EU green wipeout means for climate

Collectively, the green parties across the EU have suffered the biggest loses in the recent European Parliament elections as the political pendulum swings to the right.

What this may mean for existing climate targets is unclear, but what is clear is that there are unlikely to be many new targets or tightening of these as ‘left’ centralist parties seek to minimise the damage caused by policies that the ‘right’ centralists have exploited as harmful to the cost of living.

France, Germany and Italy are among the major economies where climate goals, inflation, immigration and financial insecurity have left census on climate, Ukraine and further integration in pieces.

In Germany Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats were heavily defeated and he has faced calls to resign, but he has ruled out holding early elections. France is preparing for a snap election after President Emmanuel Macron dissolved parliament in response to a significant move by voters to the National Rally. Italy, of course, already has a right of centre government, but it too benefitted.

The European Parliament election results are meant to have no effect on national governments, but they do, in the same way local elections are used to send messages and judge public mood.

And it must be remembered that this is politics, and although some left and central left parties hope to form alliances and deals to maintain some grip on power, the mood of the voters will not be ignored, both across the bloc and nationally. Even as these parties spin the elections in ways only politicians can.

Perhaps he most telling result was success for the new Motorists party, campaigning against the EU’s Green Deal on measures on climate change and sustainability. A foretaste of things to come across the Channel?

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