Where Do They Stand on Energy and Climate Change

A useful summary from my colleagues at FH.

European People’s Party (EPP)

 Overall, Climate and Energy do not feature strongly in the EPP’s manifesto. A number of fleeting references are made however such as the EPP “will champion an EU energy market and invest in low carbon technologies”.

Elsewhere, the group says “they [The EPP] are determined to tackle climate change through an efficient use of energy and investment in renewables while preserving Europe’s industrial base through affordable energy prices”.

The Social Democrats (S&D)

In section 9 of the Group’s manifesto titled ‘A Green Europe’, the group say that the EU must “regain global leadership on climate change ” which requires “both close co-operation with our partners and leading by example”.

They call for the implementation of Project Bonds to “finance good investments in the green economy, renewable energy and technology”.

The group specifically says that it supports binding targets for GHG reductions, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Europe’s Liberals (ALDE)

In its Manifesto, the party is much more vocal than either the EPP or S&D about transiting to a low-carbon economy, specifically that “A strong emphasis on renewable energy will create jobs and make us less reliant on energy imports”.

The Party manifesto is quite concrete in terms of policy:

  • ETS: The manifesto says that the ALDE party “will work for a functioning emission trading system to reduce CO2 emissions, and will work to strengthen it as a driver for innovation and energy efficient solutions”. It notes that a well-functioning carbon market is a key tool to reduce GHG emissions effectively.
  • CCS: The group specifically mentions carbon capture and storage.
  • Funding: ALDE will shift EU support under structural and cohesion funds towards research and investment into future orientated sectors such as renewable energy sources sectors.
  • Energy: The group will reinforce the single energy market.

–       The group calls on Europe to take the lead on climate change.


Climate change features predominantly throughout the Green manifesto.

The Party outlines concretely their proposals.

  • They would like the 20% GHG reduction target for 2020 to be increased until 2030.
  • Public institutions, businesses, and especially the financial sector, must be encouraged to divest from climate damaging assets.
  • Public subsidies for fossil fuel investments should be ended.
  • Binding targets for renewables and energy efficiency are essential. The call for a 40% energy efficiency target for 2030 and a 45% binding renewable energy target.

Nuclear: On nuclear the group is very specific saying that nuclear power has “no part in Europe’s energy mix”. They call for a shutting down of risky nuclear power plants, an end to direct or indirect subsidies and insist that operators pay full liability for the damage.

Coal: The group also call for a phasing out of coal.

Shale gas: The group say they will continue their campaign against “the dangerous and damaging practice” of shale gas extraction and call for an immediate ban.

The Group argue that their policy proposals will create jobs, stimulate economic activity and reduce Europe’s dependence on imports.

Looking ahead, the Greens are likely to gain seats in the upcoming election with the two largest delegations French Europe Ecologie and German Die Grünen expected to do well.

European Conservatives and Reformists Group

The Group’s Communique of 20 March makes numerous references to energy.

Interestingly, it says that “Recent events have shown that energy security is a core strategic interest for Member States of the European Union”. Building on this the Group say that the EU should “Make full use of our [Europe’s] indigenous energy resources,” an indirect reference to the Group’s support for shale gas exploration and nuclear energy.

Elsewhere, the call for a single integrated energy market which would mean cheaper prices for consumers and industry.