"Climate emergency" in the EU - a good move?

Under the "climate emergency" declared by the European Parliament after a vote passed by an overwhelming majority the EU Commission and the member states must in future assess all their decisions in terms of their impact on the climate and the environment. Individual cities and states had already passed similar resolutions. Journalists are not very impressed.

Open/close all quotes
St. Galler Tagblatt (CH) /

Avoid hysterical reactions

The St. Galler Tagblatt is outraged and says that declaring a climate emergency is pure populism:

“To achieve their political goals, the eco-populists manipulate fears and emotions. These are the same mechanisms that the populists from the other end of the political spectrum use. Imagine if the far-right Italian politician Matteo Salvini and his friends had declared a 'migration emergency' in 2015 and demanded that from now on all policy areas be made subordinate to the prevention of migration. The reaction of the left would have been utter indignation. Certainly, the accelerated climate change and also the role of humans in bringing it about is a fact. The same goes for the increased migration from Africa and other parts of the world. But in both cases one should avoid hysterical reactions.”

Zeit Online (DE) /

The dark past of declarations of emergency

Zeit Online finds the measure completely inappropriate for historical reasons:

“The Germans should know better than anyone where this will lead. The decree of the Reichspresident for the Protection of People and State of 28 February 1933 abrogated the civil rights enshrined in the Weimar Constitution and enabled Adolf Hitler to seize power. ... Of course, this is an exaggeration. But in times of a state of emergency, in which we are all living according to the resolution of the European Parliament, it cannot be wrong to recall the historical antecedents. At least we know what polluted terrain we are now on. Parliament would be the first victim in the event of a real emergency, rather than just a symbolic one. It would be dissolved immediately.”

Denik (CZ) /

Climate, frogs and borders - all symbolism

Denik takes the declaration with a grain of salt:

“The European Parliament's resolution has no legal force and doesn't bind anyone, neither the Commission nor the member states. It's merely an expression of the position of the European Parliament on this matter. There have been similar resolutions on all kinds of things in the past, from the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh to the protection of frogs in the northern section of the Hornád River. Most of them didn't make any real difference for Karabakh or the frogs. ... Brussels and most EU countries agree on the goal of reducing global warming. The only question is how to do it, when, and how much to spend on it.”