COP25: Progressives look to sustainable new future for Europe


Panel at the PES Open Dialogue on Climate Action, COP25, Madrid

Pictured left to right: Javi López (Chair of the PES Environment, Climate Change and Energy Network and Member of the European Parliament), Iratxe Garcia (PES Vice-President, S&D Group President), Benedetta Brighenti (PES Group in the Committee of the Regions), José Domínguez Abascal (Spanish Secretary of State for Energy), Sergei Stanishev (PES President) and Maria João Rodrigues (President of FEPS)

Europe can and must be a leader in the fight for a sustainable world, the Party of European Socialists said today as it convened a meeting of leading progressives at the COP25 in Madrid.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“We are fresh out of a European elections campaign in which the PES put the environment amongst our top priorities. I am very glad to see that our demands are now among the top priorities of this new European Commission.

“Frans Timmermans’ European Green Deal will be a turning point in the history of the EU. This initiative will create momentum for ambitious environmental and social changes at the European level, and beyond.

“I strongly believe that our political family is best equipped to lead the changes towards a more social and sustainable Europe. I say this because we are the only ones thinking about sustainability in a holistic way, from the environmental, economic and social perspectives.

“The PES has long campaigned for a Just Transition which supports workers and industries to move to a more sustainable future.  This is part of the new Commission’s work programme and will be in the hands of another leading progressive, Elisa Ferreira, the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform.”

Iratxe Garcia, PES Vice-President and Leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, said:

“We progressives are very worried that we may arrive late to stop climate warming. This is why we are here in Madrid.

“The European Parliament just declared the climate emergency in Europe, and this is not an empty concept: it’s a reality. A climate emergency demands extraordinary measures, and this is what we will fight for in the European Union.

“Tomorrow Frans Timmermans will present his plan for a Green Deal. This will be the roadmap for Europe’s transformation, to protect the environment and biodiversity while at the same time tackling inequalities. Because there will never be climate justice without social justice.”

The two-part event in Madrid, co-organised by the PES, the S&D and Spanish member party PSOE, kicked off with an Open Dialogue on Climate Action. Activists, the public and progressive leaders held a constructive dialogue focused on what actions progressives should prioritise at COP25 and beyond. Sergei Stanishev (PES President), Iratxe Garcia (PES Vice-President, S&D Group President), José Domínguez Abascal (Spanish Secretary of State for Energy), Maria João Rodrigues (President of FEPS), and Benedetta Brighenti (PES Group in the Committee of the Regions) took part in the public event, which was moderated by Javi López, Chair of the PES Environment, Climate Change and Energy Network and Member of the European Parliament.

PES Open Dialogue on Climate Action at the COP25 in Madrid

PES Open Dialogue on Climate Action at the COP25 in Madrid

Later today an Extraordinary PES Environment, Climate & Energy Change Network meeting will convene to discuss progressive efforts to make the planet more sustainable. Spanish Secretary of State Hugo Moran will discuss COP25 progress, S&D Vice-President Miriam Dalli will address European Climate Law, and Chair of the PES Environment, Climate Change and Energy Network Javi Lopez MEP will present the PES Proposals for a Circular Economy Action Plan 2.0.

The PES has been at the frontline of the battle for a more sustainable Europe and world. The European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans oversees the European Green Deal, which will include proposals to invest in a Just Transition, reduce CO2 emissions by at least 50% by 2030, extend the Emissions Trading System, and introduce a Carbon Border Tax, and a Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. The Commission Vice-President will present his plan for the European Green Deal to MEPs tomorrow.

Photos from the event are available to view on the PES Flickr.