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Upholding climate action in the European elections


In just a few days, voters in the EU will head to the ballot box to elect the next European Parliament.

The outcome of these elections will have a big influence over the level of political ambition that will exist for climate action for the next five years. Following a cycle where the European Union transformed key areas of its climate and energy legislation as part of the Green Deal, the 2024 poll will be crucial in shaping what climate policies are enacted in the years ahead and whether climate targets can be met.

In the run-up to these pivotal elections, polling shows there is still a broad consensus in support of continued climate action from voters across the political spectrum in every European country. For example, one survey found that a majority of Spanish, French and German citizens agree that the EU must lead efforts against climate change even if the US and China do less. 72% of Spanish citizens would also be proud to be European if the EU took a leading role in the fight against climate change.

But in a context where economic and security issues are understandably topping the agenda, it will be essential to ensure climate solutions are seen as important answers to these challenges too.

Business organisations we work with, such as the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and the Spanish Green Growth Group, are at the forefront of this work. In France, we’ve also supported the launch of a new coalition of 16 progressive business networks under the coordination of the Mouvement Impact France with the goal to ensure the voices of entrepreneurs committed to the environmental and social transition are heard during the campaign. Many of Europe’s leading industries have also been championing this cause – for example, through the Antwerp Declaration.

In the past months, we’ve also worked with our network to support widespread, in-country polling to ensure we have robust data and audience insights to deepen understanding of how climate change, and policies to address it, are truly understood by voters, and how they are likely to feature during the campaign. For instance, our partner More in Common has led workshops for partners in countries including France, Germany, Spain, and Poland to share insights and polling data, and to inform messaging choices. This allows our network to focus its attention on the right communications battlegrounds and offer voters the information they need to make an informed decision.

Several of our partners across Europe are also working with young climate leaders, social media influencers and figures from the TV, pop culture and film sectors to mobilise youth and citizens to cast their votes in the upcoming elections. For example, the EurHope campaign led by and JEF Europe has gathered over 150 young people from all over Europe to discuss youth priorities for the next mandate; and the German organisation Superredaktion engages with celebrities and influencers, leveraging their reach and credibility with young people for authentic messaging incentivising their audiences to vote in the EU elections

In parallel, we’ve supported recent research and analysis from the Jacques Delors Centre that can also inform the approach to take. According to their latest policy brief, a majority of voters across the political spectrum still desire more ambitious climate policy and would support a raft of concrete measures to bring down emissions.

Alongside these broader efforts, we’re also working to counter factually false claims and the increasing quantities of disinformation on climate issues – especially regarding agriculture and the costs of the ecological transition. For example, we’re ramping up our collaboration with 23 fact-checking organisations across Europe who are joining forces under the umbrella of the European Fact-Checking Standard Network to detect and debunk climate disinformation across the EU, while promoting access to verified climate information so people can make informed decisions in the lead-up to the elections.

Next steps

Post-elections, our focus will be ensuring the EU upholds its commitment to climate, seizing the opportunities climate solutions offer in fostering sustainable and inclusive growth, competitiveness, and energy security through a green industrial transformation.

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