EU faces ‘make or break moment’ for green transition, report says

(The Guardian, 28 Sep 2023) Researchers see political risks to decarbonisation plan across forthcoming elections, but also suggest steps to win support.

The EU faces a “make or break moment” for decarbonisation if it is to stick to the European Green Deal, a new report warns, amid the cost of living crisis, multiple elections and a growing political “greenlash”.

In research published on Thursday, the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) said European policymakers must convince voters that sticking to the green transition is in their interests – especially with European parliament elections and several national elections coming next year.

The findings come after a week that saw several green setbacks in Europe. Governments in Sweden and Britain have faced heavy criticism for backtracking on green pledges, and on Tuesday Ursula von der Leyen, the EU Commission president, welcomed a deal by EU governments to water down rules on vehicle emissions.

“Europe is facing a make-or-break moment in terms of whether it is willing to pay the costs – both financial and political – of moving forward with the next phase of decarbonisation at the speed and according to the model it has set out in the European green deal,” write authors Susi Dennison, an ECFR senior policy fellow, and analyst and writer Mats Engström.

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The Guardian, 28 Sep 2023: EU faces ‘make or break moment’ for green transition, report says