Climate Group manifesto for the 2024 EU elections | Climate Group Skip to main content

Climate Group manifesto for the 2024 EU elections

13 May 2024, 14:21 UTC 2 min read

Climate Group has urged European officials to make the climate a priority as Europeans head to the polls this summer. 

With climate change linked to so many issues the EU is currently contending with – biodiversity loss, air quality, energy prices and energy security – Climate Group makes clear that now is not the time to deprioritise the climate. Speeding up the transition and addressing climate change would provide huge social and economic opportunities. 

Recent reports of the EU downplaying climate issues directly contradict the views of EU voters, who named climate change as one of their top four priorities, alongside a strong economy, poverty reduction and improvements in public health. 

In order to meet 2050 climate targets and provide long term confidence and direction to the corporates we work with, we have laid out six areas the EU needs to focus on in the next legislative term to maintain and strengthen its climate credentials: 

  • Ramp up production and installation of renewable energy. Despite a record share of renewable in the energy mix in 2023, capacity must continue to grow;  
  • Accelerate the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), looking to the examples set by leading businesses who’re investing heavily in switching their fleets to EVs;  
  • Support the steel and concrete industries in decarbonising while remaining competitive. The production of steel and concrete represents 5.7% and 4% of total EU greenhouse gas emissions respectively, meaning that interventions here would be significant;  
  • Promote energy efficiency and ramp up renovation rates to make buildings more efficient; 
  • Cut emissions across the food chain by setting minimum mandatory criteria for sustainable food procurement, along with ensuring food security, affordability, nutrition and public health; 
  • Enhance the role of states and regions. As the level of government closest to the people, subnational leaders are vital partners on the path to net zero and in ramping up NDCs ahead of COP30 in Brazil.   

This year’s elections also throw the continued use of fossil fuels into sharp focus once more, following a breakthrough in language around transitioning away from the main cause of climate change at COP28. Without continuing commitment to end the global reliance on oil and gas and invest in alternative sources of energy, any attempts to stay within 1.5 degrees of warming will be futile. Strong action is needed now to avert the worst implications of climate change for both current and future generations, Climate Group said. 

These are incredibly important elections, through which the EU will decide to push ahead with climate action or take its foot off the pedal. For most Europeans, climate is a crucial issue - it underpins many of the other concerns the EU faces, and it can’t be put on hold while politicians look to secure their seats for the next Parliament. Deprioritising the environment now would be a huge mistake, and cause economic uncertainty for companies, governments and citizens. 

From the energy we use to the cars we drive and the buildings we live and work in, even the food we eat – greater focus on all of these things will ensure the EU maintains its position as a climate leader on the global stage and ensure it meets its own climate targets too.

Jeroen Gerlag, Head of Climate Group Europe

Take a look at the full manifesto