On climate change, the PN’s European family is a ‘dinosaur’

According to the CAN’s ranking, only the MEPs from the European Green Party, the European United Left, and the Socialists and Democrats have scored highly on votes dealing with the fight against climate change. The European People’s Party scored just 14.3% with their group

EPP lead candidate Manfred Weber with Opposition Leader Adrian Delia
EPP lead candidate Manfred Weber with Opposition Leader Adrian Delia

‘Panic!’ Adrian Delia, the Nationalist Party leader, called out to his young audience as he implored them to “join us and save the planet”.

His impassioned speech to the party’s youth pushed the climate change emergency feebly into the agenda of this year’s European elections, but both Nationalist MEPs and their counterparts in the European People’s Party have been dubbed the “dinosaurs” of Europe on climate change.

An analysis of the way MEPs have voted on climate change dossiers in the European Parliament by the Climate Action Network Europe (CAN Europe) coalition, reveals how members of the EPP score the worst voting pattern on these crucial environmental matters.

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According to the CAN’s ranking, only the MEPs from the European Green Party, the European United Left, and the Socialists and Democrats have scored highly on votes dealing with the fight against climate change.

The majority of EU political groups scored badly or very badly – below 50% – with the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF), the European People’s Party (EPP) and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) at the bottom of the list. In particular, the far-right parties of the ENF consistently vote against EU climate policies.

The EPP scored just 14.3% with their group of 219 MEPs, while the S&D scored 61.3% with 188 MEPs, while the Greens, which have 52 MEPs, scored almost 85% on their voting patterns on climate change issues.

Broken down among the Maltese MEPs, CAN said that the Labour MEPs were more supportive of EU climate action than the Nationalist MEPs, mirroring a general trend at the EU level.

Labour MEPs scored 63.3%, close to the S&D average, but still falling short from being climate champions comparable to leading parties in other countries. Labour MEP Miriam Dalli this year also won the European Parliament’s backing on her dossier to cut vehicle emissions by 40 per cent by 2030.

The PN’s MEPs fared only a bit better than the EPP average, with a score of 25%, but still earning the tag of “dinosaurs” in the CAN ranking.

Observers of Maltese politics will still savour the irony of witnessing the island under a veritable siege of construction cranes, green areas threatened by construction projects winning approval from the Planning Authority, the lack of urban green parks, and farmland and archaeological remains under direct threat of construction and mega fuel stations.

Indeed, the environment is the most tangible issue of concern to Maltese voters (6.9%) this year, with capable MEPs (9.6%) and defending Malta’s name in Europe (26.1%) being the other two main issues concerning voters.

The MEP scoreboard was based on an individual scoring of MEPs’ voting behaviour during the 2014-2019 legislative term. For the individual scoring, 21 single votes reflecting climate ambition on 10 different policy files were selected. The majority of selected votes are on legislative files, but the score also includes votes on parliamentary resolutions such as emissions, climate change, renewable energy, and transport emissions among others.

Each of the 10 policy files yielded a total of 1 point. Overall, MEPs could score a maximum of 10 points, meaning that each category was weighed as 10% of the total score. Scores of an EU political group represented the average score of all its affiliated MEPs. Similarly, scores of a national party represent the average score of all its affiliated MEPs.

With over 150 member organisations from 35 European countries, representing over 1,700 NGOs and more than 47 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.

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