European Parliament splits over climate emergency motion

(EurActiv, 26 Nov 2019) Green lawmakers in the European Parliament have lashed out against a draft motion tabled by centrist MEPs that suggested declaring a climate emergency in Europe, tabling their own motion in response to what they denounced as a “PR-stunt”.

All major political parties have now tabled competing resolutions after the chairman of the European Parliament’s environment committee, Pascal Canfin, tabled a motion last week calling for a climate emergency to be declared in Europe.

The motion, endorsed by Canfin’s centrist Renew Europe group, was scheduled to be voted on Thursday at the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg.

But with five competing motions now on the table, it is unclear whether any one of them will be voted at all.

“I appeal on the responsibility of all lawmakers. This is not a partisan issue,” Canfin said on Monday as he addressed lawmakers in Strasbourg. “This is a question of collective responsibility. We must vote, as others have done, on the climate and environmental emergency.”

Others see it differently, however.

“Our house is on fire,” said Michael Bloss, a German MEP from the Greens political group. “The science is clear and the facts overwhelming. That is why it is right to declare the European climate emergency,” he said.

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EurActiv, 26 Nov 2019: European Parliament splits over climate emergency motion