Later this week, kids will skip school again to take part in a massive global climate strike. Their demands are clear: urgent action to stop the climate crisis.

As adults in Europe, next week is our opportunity to not just hear the strikers’ call to action, but to also act on it. We have something the striking kids don’t yet have: the power to vote in the European elections.

If you can vote in an EU country, make sure to head to the polls between 23 and 26 May. [1] As you check the box, remember the kids marching on the streets for the climate, and vote as if their future depended on it: because it does.

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It matters who gets elected. The new members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will pass laws, approve budgets, and have a say over who will serve on the next European Commission – the EU’s powerful executive arm. They could have a profound impact on the European Union’s response to the climate crisis over the next 5 years. This is a crucial time for action, as our window of opportunity to prevent the worst impacts of climate breakdown and go 100% renewable, shrinks rapidly.

Climate has never been higher on the headlines, and for the first time in the history of the European elections, it can be a decisive issue. [2] The EU is a huge global emitter of CO2, and it has a historic responsibility to champion climate solutions.

So as you vote for your representative in the European parliament this week, vote for candidates and parties who will put climate action at the top of their political agenda. People who have spoken about ending the era of fossil fuels and those behind green energy policies. [3]

The thousands and thousands of schoolkids going on strike this Friday 24 May, across Europe and the world, are showing us the way. It’s up to us to heed their call and take meaningful action. Together, we can make sure that the new MEPs know that we, their voters, care, and will hold them accountable over the next five years for their promises – and their actions.

 

References:
[1] Voting takes place on a different day of the week in different EU member states. If you’re unsure of the exact date of the election in your area, you can double check here.
[2] Climate change will be key issue in EU elections, poll shows
[3] Many groups in different EU countries have published their analyses of parties’ and candidates’ manifestos and election programmes, which could help guide your vote, and are only a quick search away.

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