European Parliament declares climate emergency

(EurActiv, 28 Nov 2019) The European Parliament voted by a large majority on Thursday (28 November) in favour of a resolution declaring climate emergency in Europe, piling pressure on the EU’s new Commission to deliver an ambitious European Green Deal after it takes office next month.

The resolution was adopted by 429 votes in favour, 225 against and 19 abstentions during a plenary vote in Strasbourg.

“We are today meeting the expectations of European citizens,” said Pascal Canfin, a French lawmaker who initiated the Parliament resolution on behalf of the centrist Renew Europe political group.

“Europe is the first continent to declare climate and environmental emergency,” said Canfin who is also the chairman of the European Parliament’s powerful environment committee.

“And it’s a very strong message, first to European citizens and to the rest of the world, just before COP25, and three weeks after Donald Trump confirmed the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement,” he told reporters after the vote.

The Greens in the European Parliament, who initially criticised the resolution’s lack of substance, ended up broadly supporting the motion, which took some of their amendments on board.

This is huge!” said Michael Bloss, a Green MEP who was initially critical of the Parliament motion. “History in the making,” the group said on Twitter, claiming it had taken the lead on the issue.

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EurActiv, 28 Nov 2019: European Parliament declares climate emergency