This post is a comparison of the Climate Change policies of the European political groups competing in the upcoming 2019 European elections. I have written it from an Irish perspective and it only covers groups that contain member parties running in Ireland. I have only taken information from the published party manifestos. My sources are below.
UPDATE: You can read an analysis of these policies in my follow up post.
EDIT 2023: When I wrote this analysis I was a member of the Irish Green Party, who in turn are a part of The European Greens. I am no longer a member of that party, but this post may be biased towards their policies, I leave it to you to judge.
This analysis is rooted in the time it was written, and since nothing has been done on climate in the years since, our response to the climate crisis must be much more radical than anything proposed here.
The EPP manifesto, which they link to from their home page, is from 2012. As that’s the only document they seem to have published it’s what I’ve used.
I do not have policies for the independents, or the political parties who have not chosen a group. I understand that that is a disadvantage to those candidates and I would recommend you research them yourself.
This comparison is only meant to be a starting point. You should research the parties yourself and make your own decision on who to vote for.
It is especially worth bearing in mind that the parties published their manifestos at different points in time, and may have published additional information after the fact.
If you believe any of this information is incorrect please contact me on twitter and I’ll work to correct it.
* The Social Democrats and Independents 4 Change have stated they would discuss sitting with S&D and GUE/GNL respectively. This is not a guarantee that they will vote with those blocks.
- No explicit mention
- All fossil fuels by 2050
- No explicit mention
- All fossil fuels by 2050
- Fossil fuels phased out by 2030
- Fully renewable by 2040
- The European Union needs a common energy policy that provides energy security, increases efficiency and is sustainable as well as affordable for consumers.
- Guarantee energy security for our citizens and a competitive and stable environment for European industries
- The completion of Trans European Energy Network and development of new sources and routes should be a priority for the EU ́s energy security
- Welcome the moves towards more zero-emission vehicles on our roads and decarbonisation of all transport modes
- Extend EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to transport
- Stronger public transportation as well as reducing the necessity for transport to remedy traffic congestion and pollution across Europe
- No new fossil-fuel cars should be sold in Europe after 2030
- Greater investment in smart mobility, cross-border and sustainable infrastructure projects including Trans-European Networks, in particular for railroads
- Reduction of industry and transport emissions including aviation and shipping
- More investment in inland waterways and rail and intermodal hubs
- Parts of freight transport can be moved to rails or existing waterways
- All trucks, vans, trains, ships and planes must eventually become zero-emission vehicles
- Controls of sulphur emissions from shipping must be extended to all coasts and heavy fuel oil banned in the Arctic and Antarctic regions
- Workers and regions need a just transition to sustainable livelihoods
- A special European scheme should be set up to finance retraining and moving to new jobs, providing social security and alleviating fears
- Secure adequate minimum income schemes in all European countries
- Public investments in social, affordable and energy-efficient housng should be supported with European funds
- Revise the EU 2050 long-term carbon-neutral strategy to focus on climate justice
- Ensure just transition is at the heart of climate action, alleviate energy poverty, guarantee the right to equal access to energy and stop policies that burden vulnerable and marginalised people
- Give people, especially the youth, a voice in our climate policies and prioritise inclusive climate education
- The Paris Agreement, international labour standards rules and Sustainable Development Goals must form the foundation of trade treaties
- Multinational companies should be required to exercise due diligence throughout their supply chain to make sure their business is not in breach of human rights or sustainable development.
- The EU must adopt a Sustainable Development Pact with social and ecological targets to ensure that economic interests do not trump the environment
- A Just Transition Fund will help to implement the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda and Goals by 2030 in a socially fair way
- We will make sure the EU includes binding social and environmental standards, human rights, consumer protection and workers’ rights in all future trade agreements
- Introduction of taxes on the extraction and import of raw materials
- Products to last longer and fixing them to be made easier by requiring them to be repairable and increasing the duration of warranties to combat planned obsolescence
- Non-recyclable plastics must be taxed or banned, sustainable alternatives developed
- Recycling and reuse targets raised
- Strict limits on exporting waste
- Consume smarter and in moderation.
- Companies should be stopped from throwing away edible food as waste
- Adapt consumption to the limits of the Planet
- Promote local consumption and production based on these principles of reuse, recycle and repair to stop planned obsolescence business strategies
- Restore natural carbon sinks in forests and soils
- Clamp down on illegal logging and impose tougher sanctions
- Move from industrial agriculture and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to sustainable forms of farming, such as organic and agro-ecological solutions
- Change policy to cut emissions, save bees, revitalise rural areas and keep our food safe
- To protect farm land, we need to stop the urban sprawl urgently
- Redirect agricultural subsidies to sustainable farming, based on fair and results-based conditions
- Harmful pesticides such as glyphosate should be banned
- rapidly shift to sustainable agriculture and fisheries, including shorter supply chains, full environmental compliance and food sovereignty
- Move away from the current agro-industrial intensification model, including the patenting elements of life, towards ecological, sustainable farming and fishing practices and local, sustainable food systems that promote genetic diversity
- End deep-sea bottom-trawling and other particularly destructive forms of industrial fishing and limit the impact of bottom-contact fisheries on eco-systems
- 2019-05-06 14:00: Corrected ‘Target reduction for 2030’ and position on emissions trading for GUE/GNL
- 2019-05-06 14:07: Adding link to PBP policies and note regarding party manifestos
- 2019-05-06 17:00: Added PES policies and section on agriculture after I was linked to the PES manifesto
- 2019-05-06 21:40: Correctly placed PBP and the Socialist party into GUE/GNL.
- 2019-05-07 10:35: Cleaned up intro to remove edit comments, moved disclosure below intro.
- 2019-05-17 11:35: Added PES to image.
- 2019-05-22 16:05: Added Social Democrats and Independents 4 Change.