EU’s waffling on climate goals is allowing far-right to piggyback to power

(EurActiv, 13 Feb 2024) To stop the far-right piggybacking to power this year, the EU must stop giving ground on hard-won climate rules, writes Isabel Schatzschneider.

Isabel Schatzschneider is a Research Associate at the Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nüremberg. She is an environmental activist and commentator on EU environment policy.

Europe is now facing the depressing sight of the far-right hitching a ride to power – on the back of a tractor, ridden by a raging farmer.

Populist parties such as France’s National Rally and the Alternative for Germany are on the rise as they piggyback on farmer protests gripping Brussels ahead of an EU-wide election in June.

The right wingers have hitched their climate change-denying wagons to farmers’ violent protests over excessive costs, environmental policies and what they see as excessive bureaucracy – successfully bellowing that climate change policy is antithetical and poses a threat to the European concept of liberty.

After all, this is what sells.

From Italy to Sweden, figures show the far-right is dominating thanks to its traditional playbook: using hot-potato issues including migration to sow a malicious agenda that burrows into its growing bases’ unfounded fears, which then blossom into brutally harmful misinformation and hatreds.

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EurActiv, 13 Feb 2024: EU’s waffling on climate goals is allowing far-right to piggyback to power