Green Party candidates surge in elections across the EU as climate change is top priority

As the world continues to brace for uncontrollable climate change, Green Party candidates made their strongest gains in European Parliament elections to date, setting the stage for meaningful action to fight it.

In a historic election year, climate change finally broke through as the top priority among voters across the European Union, sending 71 Green Party candidates to serve as members of European Parliament (MEP).

According to The Guardian:

Finland’s Greens… came second with 16 percent of the vote, while in a major upset, Europe Écologie-Les Verts, led by a former senior Greenpeace figure, came third in France with 13.3 percent, up from 8.9 percent,” according to The Guardian. “Against all expectations, a Portuguese Green Party won its first European parliamentary seat.

Greens in Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria also scored highly, building on recent election successes as progressive voters, mainly in northern Europe, are increasingly drawn to their pro-EU stance, humane approach to migration and strong positions on existential issues such as the climate crisis and sustainability.

German MEP Ska Keller hailed the progress as a “mandate” for climate action.

“This is a mandate for real change: for climate protection, a social Europe, more democracy and stronger rule of law,” Keller said. “The Green Wave has swept across Europe. We want to thank everyone who has voted for change and climate action. This trust given to us by voters is both a task and a responsibility to put green polices into action.”

European nations have been at the forefront of fighting climate change and enacting environmental protections for years now as several seek to switch from coal power to 100 percent clean energy in the next ten years.

European Greens vice-president and a Dutch MEP Bas Eickhout, called the election victories a “mandate and duty to drive change in Europe.”

“It’s time the European Union puts all its efforts into a sustainable future and starts caring for its citizens,” Eickhout said. “Any new Commission should take this into account, as our program of climate protection, social justice, and defense of rule of law and democracy gave the Greens this important win. We will fight hard for everything in our manifesto. We are going to be genuinely tough on climate action.”

Clearly, the Green movement is increasing in popularity as climate change negatively impacts our world more and more. Europeans, driven by young people who want a better life for everyone and a sustainable future, are making their voices heard and their new political leaders are going to fight for the changes they believe in to make it happen.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.

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