Our first common action as European Grandparents for Climate took place on May 31. We blew whistles at noon in front of national parliaments and in other public places as a wake-up call for the European Elections.

Look also at our latest News items for our Elections Campaign

By Gaby Doxiadis and Hugo Swinnen

Alarming news has been published here recently that climate change is speeding up and that Europe does not seem sufficiently prepared. Therefore, good news is welcome. Last week was a very positive one at the European Parliament. With the finish line in June approaching, EU policy makers are dealing with many aspects of the Green Deal.

It started with the very important adoption by the European Parliament of the deal on the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). The IED is a key European Union law to prevent pollution at source from around 50,000 industrial installations in the European Union. After reaching an agreement in inter-institutional negotiations, there was the introduction of a final-hour amendment to further relax rules on industrial livestock farms, pretending to help farmers. As the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) rightly mentioned in its press release, this was in fact only in the interest of the largest agro-industrial livestock operators. By doing this, conservative voices in the EPP and ID parliament groups kept the future of the IED uncertain. But they didn’t succeed as the majority voted in favour of the deal.

European Grandparents for Climate national member organizations, but also regional and local action groups, could follow-up on this by approaching European Parliament candidates and ask if they are willing to push for the final step, the formal Member States approval.

A few more of this week’s positive developments:
– On Monday, the EU Parliament’s Environment Committee gave the green light to the Soil Monitoring Law.
– Europe will soon have a revised building law that will hopefully help to minimize climate impact and a transition to a fairer and greener built environment.
– The EU Parliament approved new rules on ‘Green Claims’ with stricter rules for companies to prove green claims, improved governance and transparency, and more voice to civil society and other stakeholders to influence future legislation!
– The EU Parliament voted on key revisions to the Waste Framework. A step forward, but still too weak.

You will find more details in last week’s EEB Newsletter. And if you want to be regularly informed about European environmental policy developments, you could subscribe to the Newsletter of the EEB.