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

See the overall results

47 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

  20. avatar

    Nothing, it’s a natural process, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Green taxes are just an excuse to take more people’s money.

    • avatar

      Alfredo green tax is preparing for the worse…

    • avatar

      No, just an excuse

  21. avatar

    Sanction imports from China and India. They are the world’s top polluters.

    • avatar

      no they’re not

    • avatar
      Любомир…/pollution-by-country/ CO2 emmissions: China is number one, USA is after them and right after them are India and Russia. None of the EU member states even come close to their levels of pollution.…/beat-plastic-pollution/
      Pollution with plastic material: China, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Indonesia are world “champions”, no other country gets even close to their “achievments”.
      European countries are among the cleanest and most waste-effective countries in the world. We should simply keep doing what we are doing already.

    • avatar

      Любомир I hope u realise a lot of the pollution is from the goods we consume that’s made in China
      Bring the manufacturing back to Europe and pay a lot more and our pollution goes up

  22. avatar

    Stop voting for right-wing parties.

  23. avatar

    Greg. No, what we consume has nothing to do with the pollution in China. There are roughly around 500 million people in the EU member states. China alone has three times more people. There is no way we are generating all of that waste. Just do the numbers.

  24. avatar

    Nothing, it’s a natural process, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Green taxes are just an excuse to take more people’s money.

    • avatar

      Pedro you do know that all the EU Member states combined don’t even produce a fraction of pollution as compared to China – who the powers that be (…) are not even talkng about. And btw, humanity NEEDS CO2: we do NOT need the heavy metals being sprayed on us nor do we need the absolutely potentially hazardous 5G nor the horrendous accumulation of plastic in the oceans but they never mention this….you don’t find this odd ?

  25. avatar

    First stop import of more and more population.

  26. avatar

    Tax meat with it’s carbon footprint. Invest it into green tech.

  27. avatar

    Please don’t fight, you must adapt and be prepared for the climate change

  28. avatar

    Stop import from country who don’t respect the international environment regulations (if there is any such) such as the limited amount of co2 etc, or rise the tax and find other alternatives
    Second, whoch is a solution for all Europe problems, try to reach self capacity (i hope i used the right Definition for it) in which will help Europe control itself and all in and out, for example Europe are so close to reach its self capacity in electricity by green alternatives solution, hope that keeps going for other resources as well
    Third, and trust me i am not saying this because of my nationality background but for my education background, seek for real cooperation with media east country who are democrats enough and help other country peacefully to reach their democracy in order to build strong friendship with them, the resources and the short distance in middle east is perfect to help balance the two part of the world,
    Once such balanced reach vertically, the horizontal shall balanced by its own, and i mean by horizontal (USA, CHINA)

  29. avatar

    STOP SAIs (Stratospheric Aerosol Injections) which are blocking the sun and are raining down highly toxic heavy metals (mainly aluminium, strontium and barium) on the people everywhere they’re spraying. Secondly, totally ditch this insane 5G plan. THIS is what is causing the most harm to people currently and thankfully there is a growing number of concerned citizens who’ve finally cottoned on to it. The earth’s climate changes naturally – why destroy the earth’s resources to achieve your nefarious ends ?

  30. avatar

    Dear Debating Europe (You’re welcome!) : “Understanding history is always key to understanding current day movements – like how the environmental movement came to be, and what the driving force behind it was/is…In this case, it’s vital to understand the role that Maurice Strong played.
    Disgraced kleptocrat Maurice Strong died late last year at the age of 86. He was shunned from polite society and forced into a life of exile in Beijing after his decades of business intrigues, crimes against humanity, and environmental destruction unraveled. His savagery culminated with an attempt to profit off of the death of starving Iraqi children. His funeral was a quiet affair, attended only by those few family members who could not find it in their heart to shun him completely. Former friends and business associates like Paul Martin, James Wolfensohn, Kofi Annan, Conrad Black, and Al Gore all avoided calls for comments on their disgraced friend’s passing.”
    …is how Maurice Strong’s legacy would have been remembered in any reasonable world. Instead we get this:
    “On Wednesday, hundreds will gather across from Parliament Hill for an extraordinary commemoration. The Governor General, the Prime Minister, the Minister of the Environment, the former president of the World Bank – among other dignitaries, in and out of office – will pay homage to one of the great Canadians of his generation. They will celebrate the life of Maurice Frederick Strong, who died on November 27. His passing brought the obligatory obituaries and personal tributes. But in a country that often hides its light under a barn, Maurice Strong – and the feverish, consequential life he led at home and abroad – should not go uncelebrated.”
    And the accolades just keep pouring in.
    From Canadian PM Justin Trudeau: “Maurice Strong was a pioneer of sustainable development who left our country and our world a better place.”
    From the co-founder of the World Economic Forum at Davos: “He was a great visionary, always ahead of our times in his thinking.”
    From author and philosopher John Ralston Saul: “He changed the world.”
    In fact, a whole gaggle of globalists showed up to pay tribute to the memory of Strong earlier this week in Ottawa, from former World Bank president James Wolfensohn to under-secretary general of the UN Achim Steiner to Martin Lees, the former secretary-general of the Club of Rome. Written condolences poured in from other prominent globalists including Mikhail Gorbachev, Gro Harlem Bruntland and Kofi Annan.
    So why exactly was Maurice Strong so beloved by the globalist jet set?
    Oh, that’s right:
    INTERVIEWER: “Maurice Strong doesn’t have any ambition for the United Nations to become the world’s government?”
    STRONG: “No, and it’s not necessary, it’s not feasible, and certainly we are a long way from any such thing. But we do need–if we are going to have a more peaceful world, a more secure world–we need a more effective system of cooperation, which is what I call ‘system of governance.’ And the United Nations, with all its difficulties, is the best game in town.”
    President of Power Corp. President of the Canadian International Development Agency. Chair of Petro Canada. Chair of Ontario Hydro. Head of the United Nations Environmental Program. Founding member of the World Economic Forum at Davos. Father of the IPCC. Committed globalist.
    No, it is not difficult to see why globalists love arch-globalist Maurice Strong. But how did this man, a dirt poor high school dropout from Oak Lake, Manitoba, rise to become an international wheeler-dealer who is responsible for shaping our modern day globalist institutions? The story is as unlikely as it is instructive, and it leads us from the heart of the oil patch to the formation of the IPCC.”

  31. avatar

    The EU should stop that stupid farce where they move back and forth between Brussels and Strasbourg once a month,what a waste ,that gravy train needs to get their heads out of the sand live in real world because they consume more than most people ie booze food travel pensions and it goes on…….

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