Image showing a close up of a butterfly in the grass. Next to it the text vote for nature EU election edition and a small drawing of the EU flag

Your Vote, Our Planet: Navigating the European Parliament Elections

The forthcoming European Parliament elections play a critical role in determining our stance on climate change and nature conservation. With the EU's legislation and subsidies exerting substantial influence, voting becomes imperative to ensure your voice is heard. Yet, the complexity of the EU and its parties presents a challenge in decision-making. To aid in this process, we've curated a guide detailing the parties' stances on climate and nature issues, complemented by essential election process information.

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The elections for the European Parliament are around the corner, and these elections will be crucial in shaping our response to the challenges of climate change as well as protecting and restoring nature in the future. Through its legislation, regulations, and subsidy schemes, the EU influences the work and possibilities of nature conservation and restoration. The EU’s response to the multifaceted challenges of climate change will significantly impact our future lives in Europe. Furthermore, the EU is an important platform for making your voice heard, so it is vital that you vote.

But who should you vote for? The EU and its parliament are complex entities, and it is easy to lose track of the different parties’ political agendas and their accomplishments so far. Deciding who to vote for is a personal decision, and to help you navigate the various political players, their programs, and their achievements, we have compiled a small guide with helpful resources. This guide provides an overview of where the parties stand on climate and nature issues, as well as some general information on the election process.

How is the EU parliament performing on nature related issues?

BirdLife Europe, Climate Action Network Europe, the European Environmental Bureau, Transport & Environment, and the WWF European Policy Office have analysed European Parliament voting records from 2019-2024. Their research shows that most MEPs failed to consistently protect Europe’s climate, nature, and air quality. To help citizens, they’ve created an interactive EU Parliament Scoreboard, which scores national parties and European Parliamentary Groups on their environmental voting performance, providing a clear measure of each MEP’s commitment to sustainability.

How should the EU approach nature related topics?

What type of actions do we need to tackle the challenges of climate change effectively? Before looking through the EU parties’ election programs, it’s a good idea to consider the actions we want to see from the EU in the future regarding climate change, nature protection, and restoration. WWF’s EU election campaign provides an overview of the necessary actions to address climate change and make a positive impact.

A glossary for EU specific nature terms.

When examining the EU’s current work on nature topics, you’ll inevitably come across some EU-specific climate policy terms like Fit for 55, REPowerEU, or the Paris Agreement. But what do they mean? ECCO has compiled a glossary explaining these key EU climate terms and outlining potential political scenarios for climate action resulting from this year’s elections.

How do the elections work

You can find a general guide on the EU elections: how to vote, why voting matters, how the elections work, and available campaign materials here. There is also an infographic available providing an overview of the national rules which you can find here.

As we stand on the brink of the European Parliament elections, the significance of your vote cannot be overstated. These elections serve as a pivotal moment in shaping our collective response to climate change and nature conservation within the EU. For a bonus on this topic check out our article on the EU nature restoration law. We hope this helps you preparing for the elections and remember every vote counts.   

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