Manifestos show cross-party consensus on energy and climate issues

All the main European political groupings have published manifestos ahead of the May 23-26 European Parliamentary elections, with each outlining their vision for the next legislature across a range of policy areas.

While each grouping offers a slightly different energy and climate perspective, all agree that raising Europe’s climate ambitions and fully implementing the 2016 Paris Agreement are essential. The Greens and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) believe this can be achieved by inducing the EU to take the lead on climate change and to set ambitious emission reduction targets.

Europe’s Socialists and Democrats (S&D) are calling on the EU to be carbon-neutral by 2050, as does the ALDE group, while the Greens are arguing for this to be achieved by 2030 at the latest.

The European People’ Party (EPP) are appealing for an effective CO2 price with a well-functioning EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS). This is echoed by the Greens and the S&D who additionally want an EU-wide CO2 emissions tax rolled out in a socially fair way that is not used to support the fossil fuel industry. ALDE are also arguing that the EU ETS should be strengthened to become the EU’s key instrument for reducing greenhouse gasses - by up to 55 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Completing the EU’s Energy Union and Energy Single Market is also a priority for the EPP and ALDE groups, whereas the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE) focus more on underlining the importance of coordinating energy security and on not implementing the contentious Nord Stream II pipeline.

On nuclear energy and fracking, unsurprisingly only the Greens and the European Free Alliance (EFA) are arguing against developing this controversial technology. Energy sovereignty is a key issue for the EFA who they are arguing that Europe’s regions should be able to decide which renewable energies they want to develop.

The party manifestos demonstrate the key pledges of the Europe-wide political parties and groupings. They are not comparable to national level manifestos due to the particular nature of EU politics and the European Parliament not being able to propose legislation

However, the relatively large degree of consensus between the major parties – who are still projected to gain the majority of the seats according to latest polling numbers – demonstrates that despite concerns that extreme right and populist groupings may seek to upset the institutions’ political equilibrium, the mainstream parties have several potential points of agreement and are likely to continue to work together along traditional lines.

Find out More: Our Dods EU Monitoring team have produced a summary report on some major party manifestos. To download this free report, click here.

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