The EU’s Green Deal is going out with a whimper

Flushed with their successful defense of the watered-down nature restoration law, progressive lawmakers in the European Parliament would have you believe that the Green Deal is alive and well: a misleading narrative at best.

Nature Restoration Law defended – again. On Tuesday, EU lawmakers adopted the controversial Nature Restoration Law. All that remains is for EU countries to rubber-stamp the controversial act.

A last-minute revolt by the centre-right EPP had put the law at risk – despite a 2023 intervention that saw it being significantly watered down – reminiscent of a poor lamb that is constantly under threat from a pack of wolves. Nathan Canas has the story.

Is the Green Deal alive after all? Progressive EU lawmakers cheered their successful defense of the nature restoration law. The Greens’ leader Terry Reintke could be seen rushing into the arms of another group member in celebration.

The narrative they aim to establish: Progressive parties have put a halt to the wrecking ball that the conservative EPP has taken to the EU’s Green Deal – the flagship project of the past five years.

They are right to say that the Green Deal has been a success for the climate. Most climate laws – even the controversial ban on new diesel and petrol car from 2035 – made it to the finish line in one piece. Europe is mostly on track to cut its 1990 level of emissions by 55% until 2030 and by 90% until 2040.

But with 99 days to go until the EU elections in June, the narrative of a vibrant Green Deal continues to fall apart.

A Green Deal hacked to pieces. Europe, and more specifically Brussels, have been wracked by farmers’ outrage and their heavy-duty vehicles clogging up urban areas. In response, European officials have taken their mallets to any environmental rules they could find.

“Green Deal out,” Janusz Wojciechowski, the Polish Commissioner for Agriculture, wrote in a private letter sent to a centre-right lawmaker seen by Euractiv. Maria Simon Arboleas has the full story.

In an attempt to cut red tape for farmers, the European Commission is also looking to loosen environmental requirements tied to EU farming subsidies as part of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Angelo Di Mambro has the story.

The current main driver of the Green Deal – Slovak Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič – is very eager to metamorphosise the framework into one friendly to industry. He has been shopping a four-pillar plan around and has quickly taken language from industrialist’s Antwerp declaration on board. Nikolaus J. Kurmayer has the full story.

Europe’s climate-friendly industry, like home-grown heat pump manufacturers, meanwhile, is feeling abandoned and cutting jobs amid a slump in demand. The industry blames Brussels for lacking support contrary to commitments made when gas-shortage fears were at their peak. Nikolaus J. Kurmayer has the full story.

There is more to come. Already, NGOs and lobbyists are fearful of upcoming votes that may be as close as the one on the nature restoration law. Lawmakers are still set to hold their final votes on the EU’s building directive (EPBD) and the industrial emissions directive (IED) – two deeply unpopular laws in the hemicycle.

The successful adoption of the nature restoration law means that the Green Deal remains alive. For now. With every anxious plenary vote held, one picture becomes clear: instead of going out with a bang, it is going out with a whimper. And then, enter the Industrial Deal.

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    By: Euractiv Eu

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