Published 00:09 May 10, 2019
Updated 05:10 May 10, 2019
Less than half of the leaders of EU-27 have gathered in Sibiu, Romania for a summit focusing on the future of the bloc that includes a climate change agenda.
A so-called “Atlantic Alliance” led by liberals and social democrats are demanding tougher climate-change goals at the Sibiu summit, most of whom have allied themselves with Sweden’s teen climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Taking France’s lead, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden plan to apply pressure to the EU to further stem emissions to zero by 2050 and insisting that at least a quarter of the EU budget be spent on projects to fight climate change.
Germany’s industrial policy, however, does not include such ambitious climate goals in its vision for the future of Europe and the bloc’s strategy to battle climate change over the next five years.
The French-led coalition is in opposition to Germany as it wants to take immediate and decisive action to roll back what the group of eight countries say could have “profound implications for the future of humanity that are already being felt across the EU”. The bloc believes the EU should take a radical approach to the problem and use at least one-quarter of the entire European Union budget to fight climate change.
“We need to move faster and with more determination for a European renaissance,” said French President Emmanuel Macron during his press conference in Sibiu, who added that, “Climate, the protection of borders, and a model for growth.”
Climate change was not, however, included in the Summit’s final declaration, instead, the EU issued a vague declaration that included pledges to “work with partners in the world” and for Europe to remain as “a responsible global leader” that includes upholding and develop the rules-based international order and “jointly tackling global issues such as preserving our environment”.
Margrethe Vestager, the Danish social liberal Commissioner for Competition and a natural candidate for the centrist Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe for the presidency of the next European Commission, had on 8 May demanded that the bloc step up its efforts when it comes to climate change.