The window for stopping a runaway climate crisis is closing rapidly. Europeans and communities across the globe are increasingly suffering from extreme weather events such as droughts, heatwaves, floodings and forest fires. Meanwhile the loss of ecosystems and biodiversity continues apace, endangering our livelihoods and further amplifying the impacts of the climate emergency. To compound matters, we are grappling with the lasting impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, war on our borders, and a cost of living crisis driven by our fossil fuel dependency.
Amidst these challenging times, the 2024 EU elections provide the chance to formulate a coherent response - and offer people hope for a safer, more equitable future. With the right actions, political leaders hold the power to improve the wellbeing and safety of people across the globe, and increase Europe’s autonomy and resilience.
In 2019, the EU elections triggered the inception of the European Green Deal - a meaningful step towards tackling the twin climate and biodiversity crises. Following the 2024 EU elections, political leaders must build on this vision, and ensure all sectors and systems finally become part of the transition.
For the next five years, the EU must make a priority out of fundamentally redesigning its economy to more rapidly wean our dependence off fossil fuels and make full use of the benefits provided by healthy ecosystems. This includes addressing inequalities and ensuring the most vulnerable communities and small businesses do not carry the heaviest burdens of climate and nature action. Sustainable living needs to be made easy, affordable and attractive for everyone.
Leaders must bring an end to reckless calls for a ‘pause’ on further environmental measures, and promoting deregulation, whether it is on nature or on climate. Such actions endanger people’s safety and well-being - and are misplaced as global efforts to date are woefully insufficient and we remain far off course from meeting international commitments to keep global warming to 1.5°C and halt and reverse nature loss.