Greens seek to leverage EU wins to push climate agenda

(Reuters News, 26 May 2019) Leaders of pan-European Green alliance say their support will not come cheap, and they will seek written commitments on climate action.

Surfing a global wave of climate activism to their strongest showing yet in European Union elections, Europe's Greens on Sunday readied to press their demands on climate and trade in Brussels.

An ebb in support for mainstream parties raised hopes among Europe's ecology parties that they could use their still relatively small presence in the EU assembly to act as kingmakers in an increasingly fragmented EU legislature.

Many of the gains came from the northern European countries that were once the continent's industrial heartlands where, often inspired by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, young people have taken to the streets to demand a break from a legacy of dependence on fossil fuels.

Germany's Greens leapt into second place behind Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU conservatives, with a third of its voters under the age of 30.

"This election was above all about the issue of climate and climate protection," acknowledged Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, leader of the German Christian Democrats (CDU), currently the biggest European party in the EU chamber.

Greens also doubled their share of the vote to take two seats in Finland and Denmark, won their first two seats in Ireland in two decades, grabbed third place in France and were set for strong showings in Belgium, the Netherlands and Britain - the latter partly as a result of being clearly anti-Brexit.

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Reuters News, 26 May 2019: Greens seek to leverage EU wins to push climate agenda