Early last month, French President Emmanuel Macron shocked Europe by urging the European Union to take a break from imposing additional regulations on struggling industries. The EU has already done “more than its neighbors” to save the planet from environmental doom, said Macron. Any further steps would pose risks for European manufacturing and, thus, prosperity.
Perhaps seeking to present himself as the true leader of a united Europe, Macron has been speaking out on a wide variety of topics in recent weeks – apologizing to Eastern Europe for not listening to their warnings about Russian aggression while also suggesting that negotiations with Russia’s leaders be followed by pursuing Vladimir Putin and others for war crimes.
A major reason for Macron’s call for a halt to further self-flagellation over the “climate crisis” is his view that “We are ahead, in regulatory terms, of the Americans, the Chinese, and of any other power in the world.” In another speech, Macron said, “I prefer factories that respect our European standards, which are the best, rather than those who still want to add standards and always more – but without having any more factories.”
Macron’s comments were followed a week later by word that the European People’s Party (which includes Germany’s Christian Democrats) is considering withdrawing its support for the European Commission’s Green Deal. That’s the set of proposals that includes EU-wide targets for eliminating carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 – which 11 EU countries have already adopted.
Back in March, the Dutch Farmers-Citizen’s Movement (BoerburgerBeweging, or BBB) won 15 seats in the nation’s Senate with nearly 20 percent of the vote. The party was formed to challenge a government plan to buy out 3,000 family farms to lower nitrogen emissions (and thus fertilizer use) and reduce livestock numbers. The movement has expanded to appeal to both rural and urban residents who espouse traditional, conservative Dutch social and moral values.
In May, the newly formed Burger in Wut (Citizens in Anger) party won nearly 10 percent of the vote in German state elections in Bremen in its first political venture. The party’s vote total may have been enhanced by the banning of the climate-skeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in the Bremen elections. The AfD is now polling higher in Germany than the Green party and closing in on Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (well below the Christian Democrats).
Was it news like this that led Macron, who won reelection last year with 58 percent of the vote against Marine Le Pen, to change his tune? During that 2022 campaign, Le Pen did not disavow the green agenda but insisted that the transition should be “much slower than what is being imposed on the French.” Now it appears that Macron has adopted Le Pen’s platform stance on the greening of France.
European climate catastrophists were horrified last September by the election of Giorgia Meloni as Italy’s first female Prime Minister, but it is her leadership that is driving the opposition to such green idols as electric vehicle (only) mandates. During her successful campaign, Meloni called the European Union’s Green Deal “climate fundamentalism” and questioned the scale of financing going to the green transition.
Her message was that carbon dioxide emissions could be lowered without having to sacrifice economic growth and development. “Greta Thunberg’s ideology (shared by the EU bigwigs) will lead us to lose thousands of companies and millions of jobs in Europe,” she argued. Instead, she promised to rely on the expertise and creativity of businesses and entrepreneurs to achieve long-term climate goals.