The Climate Crisis And The EU Elections
The single cause that won the EU elections: the climate crisis
Akshat Rathi, May 27, 2019 (Quartz)
The largest cross-country democratic exercise in the world has now concluded… Europeans voted in new members of the European parliament (MEPs)…[The 51% turnout of 400 million eligible voters was] a 20-year high…[The vote on the future of the EU produced] a confusing one: Voters abandoned the traditional center and swung further left (pro-EU) and further right (anti-EU)…The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, a pro-European alliance of parties, nearly doubled its presence in the parliament, gaining more than 40 seats. The six-week-old Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage, won the highest vote share in the UK; far-right parties in France and Italy also saw major victories…But if there was one cause that won without a doubt, it was the climate crisis…Green parties across the EU member states grew their voter shares. The Germany green party came in second with 20% of the country’s votes, behind the historically dominant Christian Democratic Union.
The Green party in the UK nearly tripled its vote share (from 4.2% to 12.1%) and nearly doubled its number of MEPs (up to seven from four previously). The alliance of green parties is expected to increase its presence to at least 70 seats, up from 52 in the previous parliament (out of a total 751 seats)…[The] polls overestimated the interest in far-right parties…[but] underestimated the importance voters are giving to the climate crisis. Since the United Nations in October published a dire report on just how far the world is from hitting climate goals, there has been renewed activism to get governments around the world to do more. Nowhere has the interest been higher than in Europe…The voter surge in green parties comes at a crucial point. The EU is mulling raising its climate goals, with the aim of hitting net-zero emissions as soon as 2050. With fewer MEPs in the center, the larger alliance of green parties would hope that it can play the role of kingmaker…” click here for more