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Parliament equivocates as planet burns

A resolution adopted today by the European Parliament on the European Green Deal falls short of substantial measures that match the gravity of the climate crisis.

Last month, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen set out the goal of making Europe the first carbon neutral continent by 2050. The Left presented its detailed policy plan for a Green and Social New Deal that tackles the climate emergency in a way that leaves no one behind.

Redefining the way our economy is run, our modes of production and the way we live requires commensurate policies but the approved text contains inexcusable policy gaps and reeks of ‘business as usual’.

While it has some positive elements the Left has fought for like ending tax exemptions on aviation and ship fuels, measures to limit and end use of pesticides, support for skills for workers and regulation on micro plastics, the resolution, as a whole, does not move the EU sufficiently beyond the good intentions of the European Commission’s Green Deal.

GUE/NGL co-President Manon Aubry (France Insoumise, France) explains:

“Following days of negotiations between political groups, the European Parliament arrived at a resolution on the European Green Deal that is not up to the challenge. Therefore our group, which I represented in the negotiations, decided to abstain on the vote.”

“We have achieved some progress, on a pesticides reduction target, the environmental impact of digital technology or the defence of short food supply chains.”

“But certain shortcomings are indefensible: there is no call to reform the CAP, the liberalisation of energy markets is not put into question or of austerity which prevents adequate financing for the transition.”

“The text even backtracks on previous positions taken by Parliament: the objective of 55% reduction of emissions by 2030, now subject to an ‘impact study’!”

“Being the result of too many compromises, this text ends up not questioning any of the dogmas of the Commission. Free trade, the free market, the obsession with growth and austerity, which are responsible for the current impasse!”

“We deserve better than this insufficient Green Deal. The GUE/NGL group puts an alternative proposal on the table: a massive investment plan to transform the way we consume, produce and trade,” Manon concluded.

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