European Spring stands for a sustainable way of life. For too long, the EU has allowed private interests to ravage our natural habitat, endanger public health, confiscate commons goods, and sacrifice animal welfare. Today, scientists are unanimous in highlighting the deadly threat posed by climate change, as evidenced by mass extinctions in Earth’s plant and animal life.
This threat demands an ambitious and urgent response: a resolute change in our mode of development and a transition at all levels of society — energy, consumption, food and agriculture, housing, consumption, and economic growth. These are a matter of survival for the planet and for future generations. European Spring will deliver them with determination.
We will introduce a Green Investment Programme that invests 500 billion Euro each year in Europe’s green transition. The investment from the Green New Deal will transform Europe’s infrastructure to align with our ambitious climate goals and the IPCC’s recommendations, including the transition to low-emissions transportation methods and the construction of renewable energy systems.
The Programme will be financed entirely via Green investment bonds issued by Europe’s public investment banks institutions, and backed by an alliance of Europe’s central banks, which will stand ready to intervene in the secondary bond markets in case the Green investment bond yields begin to rise.
The programme will consult with communities, cities and municipalities to develop and manage the projects that matter most at the local level. Special attention will be paid to coal-dependent regions to ensure thatthere are new jobs in green industries for every one that is left behind in fuel-reliant industries.
The European Union must move faster in order to protect the planetfrom uncontrolled climate change and keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees. We will introduce a 2030 Climate Compact that sets more ambitious targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the adoption of renewable energy sources, and overall decline in energy consumption.
In order to achieve these goals, we will support phasing out all environmentally damaging subsidies and strengthen the review of the environmental impact of the EU budget. We will foster low-emission mobility, developing infrastructure for walking, cycling, and public transport, as well as encouraging a shift from freight transport to rail and inland waterways.
And we will support the development of decentralised renewable energy systems, remove existing barriers to solar-wind energy production and storage and give priority to citizens’ energy cooperatives. Decentralised energy systems increase security of supply and eliminate the need for large electricity highways.
We will raise prices on carbon to bring Europe in line with emission targets. We propose a progressive carbon tax based on the level of a country’s development and emissions.
In addition, we propose a carbon border tax that raises the price of carbon-produced goods from outside the EU in order to help firms reduce their climate impact while remaining competitive.
And we will reform the emission trading system byreducing the number of emission certificates and including more indus-trial sectors and greenhouse gases in its scope.
We will transform European agricultural and land use policy in order to guarantee food and resource security and improve environmental sustainability.
As a first step, we will align the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with policies like the Birds and Habitats Directive, the Water Framework Directive, the Nitrogen Directive, the Pesticides Directive, the Emission Reduction Directive, and the Marine Strategy.
In addition, we will initiate a shift from intensive large-scale animal agriculture in Europe toward sustainable and small-scale practices, notably by redirecting CAP subsidies toward organic, vegetable-preferring, permaculture farming and affiliated research. We believe that the EU should aim for quality food self-sufficiency, while reducing our reliance on commercial exports and agricultural dumping.
We believe in celebrating Europe’s biodiversity. We will support foresters to increase their species diversity, promote forest restructuring and climate adaptation, and initiate reforestation. Finally, we will increase the European contribution towards biodiversity within the Natura 2000 network of protected areas, the High Nature Value territories and all the necessary ecological corridors and buffer areas.
We will harmonize animal protection laws in a new Animal Welfare Standard. This standard will target practices like the breeding of defects, compulsory feeding, the fixation of sows in the crate, and livestock transport.
We will strengthen the regulation of animals in industry, research, and education and encourage their replacement with alternative methods like cell culture and biochips.
European Spring will develop an integrated waste management system to fight pollution in Europe and around the world.
We will ban open landfills and introduce new regulations to ensure that landfills are managed to very high standards to protect water from pollution. We will dramatically reduce waste exports, and we will subsidize new research in recycling methods and biodegradable materials to upgrade Europe’s waste management.
We will take a strong stance against the production of pollutants. We will introduce regulations to restrict heavy metal pollution that poisons water, pharmaceuticals pollution that leads to drug-resistant super-bugs,and micro-plastics that kill aquatic life.
To fight plastic pollution, we will support an EU-wide tax on plastic production. The current EU tax targets member-states that fail to recycle their plastic, but it does not provide incentives for companies to stop using plastic in their products. We will tax plastic producers.
We must respect our oceans, shifting away from a model that treats them as repositories for our waste. European Spring will propose a blue transition in European maritime strategy and water framework directive.
We will propose a Europe-wide ban on ‘fracking’ and the use of shale gas. Fracking methods are a present threat to our health and our climate. We are calling for their immediate end.
We will work to create a special body attached to the European Court of Justice that will investigate and adjudicate compliance with the 2030 Climate Compact and the National Emission Ceiling Directive.
The Environmental Court will also rule on Europe-based companies operating abroad and their respect for environmental standards in industries like fishing, mining, and drilling.
Please find all our policies as PDF here.