In Show of Demand for Climate Action, Green Parties Surge in EU Elections
“A substantial share of the world has finally decided climate action is necessary now.”
Greens also had strong showings in Finland, France, and Ireland on the back of higher-than-usual voter turnout.
“Finland’s Greens… came second with 16 percent of the vote, while in a major upset, Europe Écologie-Les Verts, led by a former senior Greenpeace figure, came third in France with 13.3 percent, up from 8.9 percent,” according to The Guardian. “Against all expectations, a Portuguese Green Party won its first European parliamentary seat.”
Projections Sunday indicated that, overall, Greens secured 71 seats in the European Parliament—up from 52 seats five years ago. According to exit polling, the Greens’ surge was bolstered by strong support from young voters.
Bas Eickhout, vice president of the European Greens, said the election outcome gives the party a “mandate and duty to drive change in Europe.”
“Any new Commission should take this into account, as our program of climate protection, social justice, and defense of rule of law and democracy gave the Greens this important win,” Eickhout said in a statement. “It’s time the European Union puts all its efforts into a sustainable future and starts caring for its citizens.”
With much of the media’s attention centered on electoral gains by far-right parties amid Brexit chaos, observers argued that gains by the Greens—particularly as the climate science becomes more grim by the day—should be the focus of headlines across the globe.
“The best news of the night is Green parties winning more seats than ever in EU elections,” tweeted environmentalist Madalina Preda. “The people know we need climate action now.”
Bill McKibben, author and founder of 350.org, said the European election results make Green parties important leaders in the global fight for a livable future.
“A substantial share of the world has finally decided climate action is necessary now,” McKibben tweeted.