Green progress still on track after European elections

The European elections should not impact the single market’s drive for a rapid energy transition according to one leading climate think tank.

While the headlines have been captured by the gains made by far right parties in France and Germany E3G said the vast majority of Europeans voted for parties committed to the green transition and the fight against climate change, “ensuring a stable and forward-looking EU climate leadership”.

It added the EU remains committed to its green transition, with the next European Parliament expected to build on recent progress, aiming for 70% renewable energy in the electricity mix by 2030.

Manon Dufour, executive director, E3G Brussels said: “Europeans elected a vast majority of pro-EU, pro-green transition politicians who understand the importance of climate action for European competitiveness, security and strategic autonomy. Despite the shock of these elections in Paris and Berlin, Europe will be in a position to keep calm, learn from recent lessons, and carry on with its green transition.”

E3G said the vast majority of Europeans voted for parties that understand the importance of climate action for European industry competitiveness, security, strategic autonomy, and Europe’s global credibility during last weekend’s European Parliament elections.

In a statement it added: “Over the past years governments across the continent responded to the dual shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war against Ukraine. These crises have galvanised action on sustainable energy policies, pushing Europe towards a greener future.

“The next European Parliament is expected to maintain a majority of pro-EU, pro-green transition politicians, ensuring continued momentum on climate action. There is broad agreement among political groups to build on recent lessons and drive forward sustainable initiatives. While specific policies within the European Green Deal (EGD) have faced difficulties, there has been no significant backlash against the overall agenda.”

Vincent Hurkens, E3G Programme Lead for Climate Governance and EU Politics added: “European parties in the political centre carry a heavy responsibility to build a coalition without political forces that weaken Europe’s capacity to act for stable and ambitious climate policies. The dramatic impacts and risks of climate change affect our food, water and energy security, financial stability, health and social cohesion. Electoral promises of security, competitiveness and Europe as a strategic and credible global player can only be achieved through predictable and sustained climate action with a strong dimension.”

The EU’s energy landscape is undergoing a profound transformation. Once reliant on coal and appearing to shift towards gas, the EU is now clearly moving towards a future powered by wind, solar, and storage technologies. By 2030, it is projected that 70% of Europe’s power will come from renewable energy sources, marking a significant milestone in the region’s energy transition.

Jurei Yada, E3G Programme Lead for EU Sustainable Finance concluded: “The majority of Europeans chose parties that recognise that there is no prosperity or security if we do not invest in Europe’s transition. This will be a good signal for businesses and investors to keep moving towards sustainability. Broadly, the challenge ahead for the EU is to deliver and finance stable climate action while also demonstrating its social benefits and fairness. We will have to see what alliances emerge in the new Parliament, but thanks to its strong results the EPP has options – including closer cooperation with the left, which could provide stability for this agenda.”