The EU likes to see itself as a leader in the fight against climate change. However, in order to lead, you need to know where you’re going. With the European Parliament elections coming up in May 2019, followed by the appointment of a new European Commission, could this be an opportunity for the EU to choose its future direction on climate?

Climate change is the “most important issue we face” as a species. That was the dire warning delivered by UN Secretary General António Guterres at the December 2018 UN climate summit. As Sir David Attenborough, veteran British naturalist and broadcaster, put it: the “collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizons” if we don’t reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. So, what’s the best way for Europe to help us meet the challenge?

What do our readers think? We had a comment from Belamie, who says the EU represents some of the most-industrialised countries in the world, so it must do everything it can to tackle climate change. In practice, however, what can the EU actually do? What policies, ideas, and strategies can it implement to make a difference? How can it help lead the international response to climate change?

What can the EU do to help fight climate change? We asked Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all sides of the political spectrum to stake out their positions on this question, and it’s up to YOU to vote for the policies you favour. See what the different MEPs have to say, then vote at the bottom of this debate for the one you most agree with! Take part in the vote below and tell us who you support in the European Parliament!

Radical Left
Jaromír Kohlíček (GUE-NGL), Member of the European Parliament:

Well, the European Union has to change its fuel and energy policy. We have to abandon those unsophisticated emissions allowances, and we have to introduce a carbon tax. That would be the best and most sophisticated way to cope with these problems. Of course, we have to reduce emissions, we have to improve energy efficiency, but the most important [thing to do] is to introduce a simple and very logical carbon tax.

Tilly Metz (Group of the Greens), Member of the European Parliament:

Liberal Democrats
Anneli Jäätteenmäki (ALDE), Member of the European Parliament:

Centre Right
Adina-Ioana Vălean (EPP), Member of the European Parliament:

Mark Demesmaeker (ECR), Member of the European Parliament:

Eleonora Evi (EFDD), Member of the European Parliament:

IMAGE CREDITS: (cc) / Flickr – skeeze; PORTRAIT CREDITS: Kohlíček (cc) Flickr – Jaroslav A. Polák

Who do YOU agree with on this issue?


Results for this issue

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28 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Pekka Ranta

    Just nothing. Stop cheating people

  2. avatar
    catherine benning

    What can the EU do to help fight climate change?

    Try and convince India, China and Africa, as well as all the other mass polluting and breeding countries, not to allow their growing usage to affect the world as it is doing. Europe can only advise on these matters, not invade the third world for more oil. Venezuela is not the way to go. However, European population growth has diminished, the third worlds due in great part to Western aid, is growing in population at a rate that is unsustainable.

    And whilst you are at it, get the Americans to cut their usage and stop adding additional goods that exacerbate the warming of the planets core. Fracking is another no no.

    However, the planet is, as always, constantly in a natural evolution. And what is taking place, with regard to natures warming, is unstoppable by man.

    And what will help.

  3. avatar

    More solar power
    More wind turbines
    More water turbines
    More geothermal power
    Less dependence on fossil fuels for producing energy
    Better mass transportation
    Forcing other big polluters like China to reduce their print by not importing products known to be made without concern for environment

    • avatar

      I would like to see your opinion, because if you don’t have any… let’s say that only a monkey will laugh with out knowing why

  4. avatar

    I will not say that the EU shouldn’t do more, but honestly from a global perspective the EU is already a leader in fighting climate change. In the EU, thanks to all the work that has been done so far, it is not too difficult to live a mildly sustainable life, especially in comparison to the US. On the other hand, we can do more by further limiting the use of plastic (plastic cutlery, plastic bottles, etc).

    However, as the EU is already a good example (and one to be followed), the attention could (and in my view should) be turned to the the global sphere. At the UN for example, climate change is discussed, and lately even as a security threat, but at the same time in the UN HQ you have plastic cutlery, plastic bags, and unsustainable food packaging. So that would be a good place to start: get the UN HQ to be as sustainable as we want the entire world to be, as an example to be followed.

    • avatar

      Vera I think it’s important to make international agreements that will be followed by if not all at least most countries, we can’t just rarely on god will..
      Also if we do more ( as EU) it will be beneficial to as regardless what others might choose to do 😉

  5. avatar

    Ban 5g and stop the cutting down of our tree’s to facilitate it

  6. avatar

    EU can do nothing…
    Big Oil rules Wall Street, Goldman Sachs and others alike, and they rule EU…
    so for now you can blame it on China

  7. avatar

    Ask european MEPS to use video link for meetings instead of using air travel on a weekly basis to attend them. It will also cut down on travel expenses they claim.

  8. avatar

    Stop having summits all over Europe and use Facebook like the rest of us to chat.

  9. avatar

    I mean loads of things. We have a massive budget. The most sensible thing to start with is more money for renewable energy. But of that money will need to be spent on less economically developed members and potential newcomers like Macedonia who can’t afford major infrastructure spending. But this will boost employment in these areas and hey, if they import construction material and skilled workers from Europe, everybody wins.

    But the EU alone can’t fix this – individual states will need to invest their own money too, it’s unavoidable. Some kind of voluntary Paris-style agreement within the EU might be good, to help encourage the wealthier countries to cut carbon without spending EU funds. There’s no reason a country as wealthy as Germany can’t find a way to excel above all others in green policy.

    Then there’s indebted countries like Greece, where we might need to talk about easing up on debt so they can get back to investing in infrastructure. There’s no sense in taking back money from the loan only to spend it on green initiatives that they could get for themselves to benefit all of us.

  10. avatar

    Blow up the planet. There’s no climate change if the planet doesn’t have a climate.

  11. avatar

    Boycott Chinese products which do not respect environmental rules
    Stop signing free trade agreements to boost international trade and back local…

  12. avatar

    It’s already doing its best
    The last countries to blame for climate change is European
    It’s on shoulders of USA, China and Russia,

    • avatar

      Wasim indeed USA Russia and especially China are most to be blamed for the climate change but we can’t do better both for environmental and political reasons, just imagine how better our economies could be without depending on imported oil or how better would be our position in the global screen if we were self efficient 😉

    • avatar

      However it’s gradual cumulative process,
      Regarding the oil and self efficient there are some countries in EU are 100% self dependent in electricity section from 100% renewable energy (🇩🇰 is one as far as i recall, Germany walking in this way too) however regarding oil specially it’s a bit complicated issue, cause although there is huge improvement in smart car sector however they still need a lot of work and till now they are expensive and unreliable for long distance travel,
      But like i mean search for factory of those CO2 thing here in EU, you will never (rarely) to find, recycling and all those stuff are top 🔝 👍🏻

    • avatar

      Wasim completely independent of oil, I guess will never be, after all human civilisation it’s literally runs on oil, probably we wouldn’t be able to feed the world’s population without petrochemicals but I do believe that in European level our environment policies are among the few things that we done right 👍👍👍👍 and I believe that in this field we are going to see more and better things coming 😊

  13. avatar
    Amara Graps

    My strategy :

    Educate my communities: What is Climate Change? What are the statistical trends telling you?

    Educate and Learn: What are the global processes affecting atmospheric warming and Earth’s brightness variations?

    What physical parameter is key to understand?

    How can you make that measurement from Planet Earth?
    What about building a device with sensors and engaging your community to make that measurement?

    How can you make that measurement from Space?
    What about engaging your community to build a small satellite and make that measurement from Space?

    Educate and Learn: How are the greenhouse gases affecting global warming? How can I reduce greenhouse gases?
    One list:

    Learn: How is my country performing (“CCPI”)?
    From the CCPI, what can be improved in my Climate Change Awareness?
    From the CCPI, can I dialog with my country’s policy makers to implement a strategy to address the deficiencies?

  14. avatar

    Ban electric energy suppliers from charging twice the price of actual cost of production of wind energy,use more efficient turbines,vertical cylinders not propellers.

  15. avatar

    First you showed people that over consumption is a sign of prosperity, now how to turn things around?

  16. avatar

    Energy storage, stimulate green economy (why isn’t there an European Tesla equivalent yet?), European railroads, disuade people from eating too much meet, ….

  17. avatar

    The European Union must urge Member States to plant trees and restrict the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere

  18. avatar
    Daniel Filipe França Neves

    Many things can be done to stop the Climate Change… The European Union can be a model and an example for the all World in terms of Climate Policies. A communitary Carbon Tax is an example of what can be done to help fight the Climate Change and the Global Warning, with the money raised on the Carbon Tax, the European Union could fund the Member States and other States in the World to change it’s energy infraestructures and improove the ways on recycling and reforestation policies. The investment on recucling solutions offers a great way to help with this problem since we have consumed a lot of products!

  19. avatar

    Massive tree planting.
    European areas of bio sanctuaries

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