Where are we going wrong?

The most recent European elections saw a considerable number of green MEPs win seats in the European Parliament. Along with the regular demonstrations by citizens of all ages inspired by the young people of FridaysForFuture, the call for a Europe that pays attention to environmental concerns became a European political priority. The response was the launch of the Green Deal for Europe.

Since then we have witnessed a succession of European initiatives, presented with sonorous words and liberal use of the term “sustainable”, but which empty the true essential aims of change of meaning. 

We have stressed many times in this Newsletter how distant this is from the urgent needs of the environment. We are obliged to return to this theme in relation to the Climate law formally approved by the European Parliament on 24 June. A single figure tells us everything: the climate law will be the European driving force for climate neutrality by mid-century and will set in stone the EU’s target to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The initial proposal was for 70%, a target that has already been negotiated downwards…

We have to wonder why, despite the support and concerns of the European peoples, (not to mention the environmental disasters), we continue to see continual compromises that reduce the chances of real change. The usual response is: “something is better than nothing”. But here lies the real mistake: hoping that by accepting not much we can still bring about improvements. As the young people of FFF keep telling us: the house is on fire, the fire is spreading, and neither a glass nor a bucket of water will be enough to put out the flames.

Furthermore, we are governed by people who do not fully understand the meaning of the words environment, ecosystem, climate change, soil. And it’s not even their fault … how can an expert in physics and robotics, like the current Italian minister for the ‘ecological transition’ (ex ‘minister for the environment’), be expected to understand the arrangement of “vacuums” in the soil?

So perhaps we should start from this particular point: elect European groups of environmental experts with the power to preventively veto proposed legislation. The role could be given to the European Environment Agency, but unfortunately that body lacks the necessary authority because its members are not elected.

This team of elected environmental experts would have just two tasks:

  1. assess the compatibility of proposed laws, regulations and infrastructure projects with environmental limits, at the request of committees, associations or groups of citizens;
  2. publicly inform and educate politicians and officials who make incorrect or misleading statements about the environment.

What do our readers think? We would like to hear your suggestions, observations, ideas, critiques and comments.