Climate change and energy

Protecting the planet is a core Green value. The way we currently consume and produce energy is changing our global climate, and poisoning the planet for future generations. We are committed to change the way we produce energy to an environmentally friendly alternative, and transitioning Europe's energy towards a sustainable, climate-friendly model.

The Fifth Assessment Report of the United Nations shows how serious the need for action is. Sea levels are rising, storms and droughts are becoming more frequent. Arctic ice and glaciers are melting worldwide. If we don't make drastic changes, climate change will affect us all. The world faces a loss of biodiversity, especially in those ecosystems that have a difficult time adapting to climatic shifts. As temperatures rise, deserts will likely spread. Water, already a scarce resource in some parts of the world, will become even more scarce. Extreme weather events like droughts, storms, and heavy rainfall will increase. While it's bad news for all of us, those in the developing world who have contributed least to climate change, are likely to be affected the most.

The Greens have already succeeded in bringing environmental concerns to the forefront of  European political debate. Now, we have to translate those concerns into lasting and meaningful change. We want a Europe that gets 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. We want to see binding 2030 targets for carbon emissions agreed to, and for Europe to rely fully on renewable energies by 2050. We want to see the European Emissions Trading Scheme made fit for purpose, so that it makes carbon emissions financially punative. We want Europe to be a global leader in international climate diplomacy, advocating for a robust global emissions regime in Paris in 2015.

Nuclear power is not the solution. It is risky and unpredictable. Fukushima and Chernobyl are global catastrophes that must never again be allowed happen. Nuclear energy leaves a legacy of toxic waste for thousands of years.

Fracking for shale gas isn't the answer either. Fracking destroys local water resources, and can increase chances of earthquakes. It's a harmful way to extract fossil fuels. We'll continue to fight against it, and try to ban it across the EU.

Green representatives like Satu Hassi, Bas Eickhout and Yannick Jadot are working to make a climate-friendly Europe a reality.

How can we effectively raise awareness on the issue of climate change? Which local and regional alternatives to our current energy production methods can be used? What can European countries learn from each other to advance their usage of renewable energy?


Recent articles on this theme

Letter to ECB President Draghi on carbon bubble

Reinhard Bütikofer, Co-Chair of the European Green Party, and Sven Giegold (MEP) wrote a letter to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.


The Italian presidency - what did Italy do or not do?

On the eve of the last Council meeting of 2014, Monica Frassoni reflects on the Italian presidency of the European Council, which ends at the end of December.


Malmö - Green city

With more than 600 000 inhabitants in the greater metropolitan area, Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city. The city is undergoing a major transformation – it was once a declining industrial centre with numerous brownfield sites, but now it's turning into a dynamic, Green and industrially efficient city.


Ghent - Green city

In January 2015, Ghent will launch a new Climate Plan 2014–2019, which will guide the city towards climate neutrality by 2050. To reach this target, the city will work with its citizens, companies and organisations through innovative approaches.


Grenoble - Green city

Grenoble is a very dynamic city, where its inhabitants are full of initiatives and willing to come join forces to turn their city into a pleasant place to live in, this in every neighbourhood.


Freiburg - Green city

Freiburg, in the south west of Germany, is one of the birthplaces of the German environmental movement. In Freiburg, the movement began back in the 1970s with the successful action against the Wyhl nuclear power plant: one of the foundations of the alternative-Green movement.


El Prat de Llobregat - Green city

El PratEde Llobregat is situated in the North East of Spain, in Catalonia. The city administration has developed many initatives under the 'Climate Change Local Plan' in order to provide a better environment and quality of living for its citizens.


Spanish Green parties and EGP call for moratorium on drilling in Canary islands.

Any accident in relation to drilling threatens to destroy the local environment, the area’s vital tourism industry, and crucially, the islands’ water supply which relies fully seawater desalination. These dangers are reflected in the strong local hostility to the project, where a broad majority of people are opposed, along with the Canary Parliament (including the regional government party), and six out of seven island councils.


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