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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.

To date, we have seen elections manifestos released by the European People's Party (EPP), Socialists and Democrats (S&D), and the Greens. Here is our run down on what the manifestos have to say about energy and climate.

 

European People's Party (EPP)

 

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 excludes 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.

 

Socialists and Democrats (S&D)

 

The manifesto from S&D sets out a project to build a Europe of sustainability and democracy. The manifesto presents 20 commitments for the next mandate, including, in second position, a new Green and Social Deal for a just transition. The S&Ds put 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, without however any further details on how to achieve it.

 

On economy and competitiveness, the manifesto advocates for an investment plan for the green transition, a reindustrialisation of Europe and a “made in Europe” strategy, with security of supply for energy, raw materials and technologies.

 

The Greens

 

From the beginning of their manifesto, the Greens announce 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 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. The manifesto emphasises the role of citizens 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 mobilisation of hydrogen should be a last-resort solution where direct electrification would not be possible.

 

The manifesto 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 dedicate 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, i.a. 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.

 

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.

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