Rise of climate-hostile parties threatens EU carbon cuts

The Election

Cartoon courtesy of Dave Walker

The anti-climate threat at the upcoming European Parliament election

Between 22-25 May millions of EU citizens are called to cast their vote on who should represent them in the European Parliament for the next 5 years.

The 751 MEPs elected will have enormous power to approve crucial climate policies and positions such as at the upcoming UN climate negotiations and the EU 2030 climate targets. The European Parliament has tremendous influence on national climate and energy policies, as well.

The European Parliament is seen to be the most democratic EU institution and said to be the most progressive when it comes to climate change. But this may change in the next term!

An analysis by the Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe finds that centre-right and right-wing parliamentarians are largely hostile to policies aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. With many polls predicting an influx of right-wing parties, EU plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions are under threat.

The predicted rise of right-wing parties in the elections is due to the wider political context. Far-right parties have gained ground in several EU member states. In the UK, for example, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) is likely to move from second to first place. In France, the Front National enjoys unprecedented support.

Other countries where right-wing parties resurge include the Netherlands with the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), Denmark, Hungary and Austria.

Climate sceptic? Access denied!

Climate sceptics have no place in the European Parliament. Polls show that 80% of Europeans believe fighting climate change could boost employment and 95% consider protecting the environment important.

Are you an EU citizen? Then join the blockade against a right-wing influx of climate sceptics in the EP elections by casting your vote. With a continuous decline in voter turnout, there is an opportunity for people concerned about climate change to really make a difference. Be a brick in the wall that keeps climate sceptics out!

Take to the polls and keep the climate in mind when casting your vote. If you’re unsure about candidates’ climate credentials, www.score-ep.org may help. It ranks individual MEPs and national political parties based on their voting record in European Parliament on crucial climate policies.

For more details on the EP elections in your country, go to http://www.elections2014.eu.

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