Brussels – Slovenia’s eight MEPs have differing views on the European Parliament’s somewhat surprising support for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by 60% compared to 1990. European People’s Party (EPP) MEPs think this will have a negative impact on the economy, whereas the members of the S&D and Renew groups welcome the ambitious target.
The current CO2 reduction target until the end of the decade is 40%, while European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a 55% target last month.
The European Parliament on Tuesday evening voted for 60%, which environmental campaigners have welcomed.
Milan Zver (EPP/SDS) believes that “the 60% concept is not acceptable for the European industry” because it puts jobs at risk, which will also affect welfare.
He said in a written response for the STA on Wednesday that the left spectrum of the European Parliament “is looking for shortcuts”.
“But there are none in the real world, which they obviously do not understand. Things will go their own way despite their illusionary expectations,” he wrote.
His fellow MEP Romana Tomc (EPP/SDS) said she had voted for the Commission’s 55% target because she considers it “the upper limit … still realistically reachable”.
As the parliament votes on the entire European Climate Law today, she intends to abstain. Even if the law is important, Tomc said she could not back it “without concrete facts”.
Zver and Tomc’s views were echoed by Ljudmila Novak (EPP/NSi) and Franc Bogovič (EPP/SLS) in that the 60% target is too high, leading to job loss.
Novak said the EPP fully supported Europe’s climate neutrality by 2050, but the transition needed to “create new jobs” and provide for prosperity.
The EPP thus supports the European Commission’s 55% proposal, she said in a written statement.
Bogovič said the 60% target was “unattainable or unrealistic” as it would have “too big consequences for the economy and the people”, so he intends to abstain in the vote on the entire law, hoping the 55% target emerges as the final solution.
A different, positive view is held by the Slovenian members of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and Renew political groupings.
Tanja Fajon and Milan Brglez (both S&D/SD) are happy with the 60% target, with Brglez saying he had voted for it because it was of utmost importance for the EU’s future.
Noting extremely different proposals ranging from a 70% cut to setting a goal with no specified percentage, Fajon said in the end “a great and indeed surprising majority” had decided on an ambitious goal.
“We are aware this will be hard to achieve in negotiations with members states, but I believe that with adequate measures, we can do it,” she wrote.
Brglez meanwhile said that without setting an ambitious plan, there could be no ambitious and swift measures, which would be bad for the entire EU.
Fajon also urged socially just taxation of CO2 emissions with no concessions for large industries and corporations.
Irena Joveva and Klemen Grošelj (both Renew/LMŠ) meanwhile consider the new target “a good compromise”.
The pair wrote: “It is right for the European Parliament to be more ambitious than the European Commission’s proposal, as this is also a kind of a counterbalance to the pressure from some member states which try to achieve an even lower target than 55%.”
Following the vote on the entire European Climate Law scheduled for later in the day, EU leaders will start debating the new target next week. Germany as the EU presiding country would like it to be adopted by December.