EU Parliament groups clash on 2040 climate goal, in post-election preview

(EurActiv, 12 Feb 2024) Political groups in the European Parliament have offered radically opposing views on the EU’s recommended climate objective for 2040 this week, in a foretaste of debates to come after the June EU election.

For several months, opinion polls have all pointed in the same direction: The European Parliament is set to make a sharp turn to the right after the 2024 elections, with far-right and nationalist parties expected to make big gains at the expense of the Greens, leftists, and liberals.

In other words, the “Green wave” that swept through Parliament after the last EU election, paving the way for the European Green Deal in 2019, is set to come crashing down and recede five years later.

What could this mean for the EU’s climate policies?

The EU got a foretaste earlier this week when MEPs debated the European Commission’s recommended climate target for 2040 – a 90% cut in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels.

Here’s a round-up of what they said.

Nationalists and far-right

Taking the floor at the Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg, hardline conservative and far-right groups warned about the social consequences and risk of de-industrialisation associated with higher EU climate goals.

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EurActiv, 12 Feb 2024: EU Parliament groups clash on 2040 climate goal, in post-election preview