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HomeWorldFive Takeaways: How a ‘Greenlash’ Could Transform Europe’s Vote

Five Takeaways: How a ‘Greenlash’ Could Transform Europe’s Vote

Rystad Energy, a private company that analyzes energy trends, said the roughly $125 billion the European Union has invested in clean energy technology would soon fall behind that of the United States.

The main European People’s Party claims the Green Deal is its signature achievement, even as it scales back unpopular provisions, such as those on agriculture, with an eye toward the ballot box. He presents it as a way to cut Europe’s dependence on Russia. “We turned Putin’s challenge into an important new opportunity,” European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said in January.

Further to the right, the European Conservatives and Reformists Party has called some of the Green Deal’s policies (for example, setting aside land for restoration rather than agriculture) as a matter of culture wars which it claims unfairly target the farmers. He has promised to examine what he calls in his election manifesto the “most problematic objectives” of the Green Deal.

The Greens’ message to voters is that European companies need a clear signal that they can compete in the green industries of the future. “These elections will determine the future of Europe’s climate policy,” Green Party leader Bas Eickhout said by phone. “If we stop now, it would be bad news for European industry.”

Much more renewable energy has come online, putting the European Union on track to get 70 percent of its electricity from wind and solar by 2030, according to E3G, a research group. European legislation puts a price on climate pollution in several industries. And European automakers are going electric, albeit belatedly.

The Green Deal “has turned out to be much stronger and more resilient as a political agenda than many thought it would be,” said Pieter de Pous, an analyst at E3G, “but it now also faces some formidable political opponents, especially coming from the extreme right”.

Christopher Schuetze and Matina Stevis-Gridneff contributed reporting.

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