Friday 7 May 2021
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European Parliament tightens up Green Deal: no free air pollution

The European Parliament has approved by a large majority the financing of the Green Deal of EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans. With 482 votes in favor and 136 against, the European Parliament adopted the Climate Action Plan even more strongly than the European Commission proposed.

Parliament wants to reduce pollution more (55%), and nuclear energy is not considered a sustainable substitute for polluting energy generators. The EP members stress that the EU must approve these objectives well in advance of the next UN conference on climate change, to be held in November. They also want to set an interim target for 2040 to ensure that the EU remains on track to be fully climate neutral by 2050.

Timmermans had an impressive speech on the need for the Green Deal on Tuesday afternoon in Strasbourg. If the current generation wants to leave a cleaner and safer earth for future generations, action must be taken now. Not a little bit, but structurally. We have allowed too many environmental issues to bother for too long, and have not intervened where it should have been, Timmermans acknowledged yesterday afternoon.

Timmermans said after the debate that he was happy with the "broad support" in parliament. He called the Green Deal “a roadmap, a vast open hand. We must take action now, because the facts are staring us in the eye. Are we going to try to become master of the changes, or will we leave that to others? "

The 'Green Deal' does not go far enough for environmental organizations. Greenpeace previously said the plans were insufficient and too vague. According to Milieudefensie, the committee is still maintaining too many taboos. Milieudefensie believes it is positive that the committee wants to share the costs for greener policy fairly. The plan also welcomes the plan to financially support Eastern European countries if they exchange their coal-fired power stations for renewable energy sources such as sun and wind.

It was not only the political group chairmen in the European Parliament who had generally voted in favor of most of the new European Commission's plans on Tuesday. Also on Wednesday at the ballot, many individual MEPs made brilliant pleas in their one-minute speaking time.

GroenLinkser Bas Eickhout is satisfied with the result of the vote in the European Parliament on the Green Deal plans. According to him, the European Parliament is clear: the Green Deal is a good starting point, but more needs to be done in all areas than the European Commission is currently proposing.

When it comes to tackling climate change and combating biodiversity loss, the European Parliament speaks more clearly than the Commission. Here too, the following applies: the European Parliament wants to see more ambition. For example, the Commission argues for the reduction of free emission allowances for aviation, but Parliament wants to get rid of air pollution altogether.

The European Parliament also states that much more must be done with legislative proposals that are currently being negotiated. This mainly relates to the European Common Agricultural Policy, where we are now muddling on the old harmful footing. Parliament wants the Commission to re-examine the agricultural proposals to bring them into line with the objectives of the Green Deal.

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