European Green Deal could face ‘attack’ from right-wing politicians, Green MEPs warn

European Green Deal could face ‘attack’ from right-wing politicians, Green MEPs warn

The survival of the European Green Deal could rest on the upcoming European Elections, Green MEPs have warned.

They say that if right-wing parties make significant gains in June, plans to protect nature and mitigate climate change could be watered down or even disappear completely.

Speaking at a briefing on Tuesday before his last session in the European Parliament on Wednesday, co-president of the Green group of MEPs Philippe Lamberts called out the “absolute bullsh*t” of politicians claiming to fight for climate action while doing the opposite.

He criticised centrist politicians who he claims are appeasing the right to ensure their own survival in the upcoming elections.

“They want facts. Here are some facts. Soil, air, water are highly polluted in Europe. So much so that actually you can't even have bottled water that is clean, right?”

Lamberts specifically took aim at French President Emmanuel Macron who he says has adopted language and policies that “mimic the language and the policies advocated by the far right”.

Green policies are being rolled back and diluted

After farmers took to the streets earlier this year to protest red tape and unfair competition from outside the EU, a number of environmental policies have been diluted or rolled back. Plans for new rules on pesticides were scrapped.

A handful of member states have also blocked the adoption of the Nature Restoration Law despite it being approved by the parliament earlier this year. The survival of this key piece of Green Deal legislation, which aims to improve biodiversity and regenerate soil quality across the bloc, now hangs in the balance.

Terry Reintke, the European Greens’ other co-president, also warned about the future of the Green Deal, saying that it only appears to play a “very marginal part” in member states’ strategic agendas for the future.

She emphasised the importance of this set of policy initiatives in ensuring Europe’s competitiveness in the future.

“It is an economic plan for us to not be left behind when it comes to green technologies. We have very painfully seen that, for example, with electric cars but also with the solar industry.”

An ‘attack on the Green Deal’

Reintke said that the Green Deal was also a matter of security as, without it, the EU is vulnerable to “autocrats like Vladimir Putin”.

She said that the European Greens would be pushing for a massive expansion of renewables as “wind and solar are the energy sources of the future, are the energy sources of freedom.”

Both co-presidents appealed to people to vote for candidates that back better environmental protections.

“We have a choice in this election, whether there is going to be a shift to the right - which will mean less constructive policymaking on a European level, attacks on the Green Deal, attacks on democracy and fundamental rights - or whether we are, again, going to have progressive majorities,” Reintke said.