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Five things to watch: How the “Green Shock” will change the European referendum


Rystad Energy, a private company that studies energy trends, notes that the European Union’s investment in clean energy technologies is about $125 billion and will soon fall behind the United States.

The European People’s Party has declared the Green Deal its signature achievement, even though it cuts unpopular provisions such as agriculture, with an eye on the election results. It describes it as a way to sever Europe’s dependence on Russia. “We turned Putin’s challenge into a major new opportunity,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said In January.

The further-right European Conservative and Reform party sees some of the Green Deal’s policies, such as dedicating land to restoration rather than agriculture, as culture war issues and says they unfairly target farmers. The party has pledged to review what it called in its election manifesto the Green Deal’s “more problematic objectives”.

The Greens’ message to voters is that European companies need clear signals that they are able to compete in the green industries of the future. “These elections will determine the future of climate policy in Europe,” Green leader Bas Eickhout said by phone. “If we stop now, it will be bad news for European industry.”

The use of renewable energy has increased dramatically, with the European Union on track to get 70% of its electricity from wind and solar by 2030, according to research group E3G. European law puts a price on climate pollution in several industries. European carmakers are belatedly adopting Electrification.

Pieter de Pous, an analyst at E3G, said the Green Deal as a political agenda is “far more powerful and resilient than many people thought, but it now faces some powerful political opponents, especially from the far right.”

Christopher Schuetze and Matina Stevis-Gridneff contributed to this article.

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