Analysis: What do the EU Elections Manifestos have to say about energy?

by Jonathan Bonadio - 23 February 2024
The path towards the EU Elections 2024 is beginning to accelerate. Over the coming months, we will be looking into what promises the current EU political parties are making for their next term ahead of the elections, and what this looks like for the energy landscape in particular.

Our run down on what the manifestos have to say about energy and climate:


ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)


The manifesto pledges for legislative simplification rather than over-regulation and bans. Among the three priorities of the party, the second is to “lnvest in your skills, and digital and sustainable technologies to create jobs, reduce our dependencies and decouple growth from the use of natural resources”. The manifesto also insists in the necessity of a trans-Atlantic free trade agreement with the US to fulfil our shared climate objective and reduce the negative consequences of the US Inflation Reduction Act on the EU. It also stands for open, welcoming and competitive economy to foster the energy transition.


On EU budget spending, the manifesto advocates for faster and more decentralized distribution, and new EU resources from the Emissions Trading System (ETS), the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and the international tax on multinationals should be earmarked to the sustainable, resilient and digital transition.


On climate, the manifesto embraces the 2040 target proposed by the Commission, and the reinforcement of the role of the European Environmental Agency. Strategic independence regarding China and Russia is also mentioned.


The manifesto clearly identifies solar panels as an equipment which should become more circular and more European. The promotion of renewables goes hand in hand with the deployment of nuclear and CCUS, with the exclusion of “green” natural gas. The investment in grid and storage is explicitly mentioned. The manifesto also mentions the digitalisation and acceleration of permitting.

In terms of financing, the EIB should contribute in critical green investment, esp. to ensure competitiveness against non-EU manufacturers.


ECR (European Conservative and Reformists)


The ECR manifesto webpage insists on the overall necessity to reduce administrative barriers, limit bureaucracy and obstacles to the single market, to citizens and to businesses. It also pledges for a strong border control policy. On energy and environment, the party insists on implementing measures at reasonable cost, and opposes “unrealistic” targets. It recalls the importance of the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) as the right balance between fighting climate change and protecting our industries. It does not include any pledge or priorities in terms of climate and energy targets.


The manifesto does not mention solar energy.


EDP (European Democratic Party)


The manifesto recalls the EU leadership in climate and pushes for an ambitious green transition financed by new own resources. It proposes to increase the budget for research and innovation through Horizon Europe and the Structural Funds, Invest EU.


On industrial policy, the EDP suggests a new industrial strategy, with however no details on the sectors covered. It also defends an anti-dumping system to sanction imports that do not comply with competition rules.


On climate and energy, the manifesto proposes a carbon price, without referring to any ETS reform. It mentions monitoring Member States’ commitment against the Paris Agreement, but remains vague on the concrete tools to ensure implementation.


As a good point, the manifesto proposes a Common Energy Policy (mirroring the Common Agricultural Policy) with a 100 billion euros investment plan supported by the EIB, with a tenfold increase of investment in buildings, smart grids, storage and renewables.


EPP (European Peoples’ Party)


The manifesto recalls EU leadership on climate with the angle of economic growth and innovation. On energy, the manifesto insists on a climate-neutral trajectory by 2050 with a technology-neutral approach, explicitly including nuclear energy. It advocates for a business-driven climate and energy transition, and strictly exclude EU-wide bans such as the combustion engines ban. The manifesto insists on the necessity to ramp-up hydrogen production and reinforce internal energy market. It also explicitly mentions research on nuclear and nuclear fusion as part of the focus for the future.

The manifesto does not mention solar.


European Left


The party recognizes the climate crisis as an emergency, and links it with societal transformation and social justice. The just transition should be democratically conceived, and should overcome neoliberalism and resource overconsumption from capitalism. It recalls the principle of public owning of common goods and services, including energy.


The manifestos pledges for a 65% GHG emissions reduction by 2030, and climate neutrality by 2035, the creation of a European Fund for public services financed at 0% by the ECB and 0% ECB loans for low-carbon investments. It also calls for integrating biodiversity in energy policies.


In terms of financing, the manifesto proposes to transform the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) into an EU mechanism to reduce inequalities and promote sustainable growth. It also demands European investment plans for jobs creation and training. The budget would be financed by a European tax on wealth, including a windfall tax in the energy sector, and a tax on financial transactions.


The manifesto does not mention solar energy.




From the outset, the party announces a Green and Social Deal for Europe to fight the cost-of-living crisis through a large investment plan. 


On the climate side, the Greens advocate for a emissions reduction target beyond 55% by 2030, and a full climate neutrality by 2040,  backed by a revised climate law. It also pledges for a fully-renewable energy system, and a total phase-out of fossil energy by 2040, of coal by 2030 and of fossil fuels subsidies by 2025. It also emphasis the role of citizen in the energy transition, both via engagement in planning and decision making, and through energy communities. The ambition on solar is clearly displayed, with the will to put “solar panels on every roof possible” and promotion of electrification. The mobilization of hydrogen should be a last-resort solution where direct electrification would not be possible.


The manifestos supports renewable energy as a basic right for people, alongside with the elimination of energy poverty. Energy sharing and energy communities are explicitly mentioned as key priorities. The social aspect of the Green Transition is also highlighted, with workers’ protection, fair labour mobility and equal opportunities in the labour market.


On EU budget, the party proposes to dedicates 10% of the EU budget for biodiversity restoration and conservation. The programme also plans to dedicate at least 1% of EU GDP for a Green Social Transition Fund, for greening industry. On the resources, extra financial means will be achieved through an extended carbon border tax, a minimum level for capital gains tax, the reduction of tax evasion, an EU-wide wealth tax and a EU windfall tax on energy companies.


PES (Socialists and Democrats)


The project of the party is to build a Europe of sustainability and democracy. The project presents 20 commitments for the next mandate, including, in second position, a new Green and Social Deal for a just transition. The objective of climate neutrality by 2050 remains unchanged, but the manifestos recalls the objective of a “completely renewable and clean energy mix”. 


The PES puts high emphasis on a socially just energy transition, and the inclusion of low-income households in energy policies. It also recalls the need to fight energy poverty and high energy prices, through i.a. a reform of the energy market.


On economy and competitiveness, the manifesto promotes a plan for the Green and Digital transitions and advocates for the reindustrialisation of Europe and a “made in Europe” strategy, with security of supply for energy, raw materials and technologies. In terms of fiscal policy, the party plans to introduce a tax on large corporations, big polluters and the ultra-rich, including a tax on windfall profits.


The manifesto does not mention solar.



Stay up to date


Make sure to stay up to date on the elections by subscribing to our newsletter, and check out our Shine On Policycast where we are hosting EU Election season: a series of talks on solar ahead of the June elections.

Other stories