Environment doesn’t stop at borders: The fight against the climate crisis is a federalist one

Key points:

  • JEF Europe welcomes the adoption of the European Climate law by the European Parliament as an important step towards reaching the Paris Agreement goals.
  • Addressing the climate crisis requires coordinated action at the European and global level; only through political integration can this action be effective and democratic.
  • JEF Europe is convinced that European and world federalists are natural allies of the global climate movement.

Brussels, 08.10.2020

JEF Europe welcomes the adoption of an ambitious European Climate Law position by the European Parliament. As a logical step after the introduction of the EU Emissions Trading System, the Climate Law has the potential to make the EU a role model for multilateral environmental protection on the continent and beyond. An ambitious European Climate Law can bring us closer to limiting the increase of average global temperatures to 1.5 degrees in line with the Paris Agreement and ideally revert the process of global warming. 

“We are happy, and not at all surprised, to see that the European Parliament – which directly represents EU citizens – has taken such an ambitious decision in favour of the common interest of Europeans. The proposal of the Parliament adds an additional layer of ambition to the original text and we hope that it won’t get lost in negotiation when deciding on the final text with the Council”, states Andreas Høstgaard Poulsen, Executive Board Member of JEF Europe.

The European Climate Law is a step in the right direction in demonstrating that the Paris Agreement is not only a paper tiger, but could actually provide supranational political and legal accountability on climate policy for the first time. We therefore welcome the proposal to create an independent European Climate Change Council which can scientifically assess the progress made as part of the National Energy and Climate Plans. With the call for an EU-27 net greenhouse gas budget, the EP also shows its willingness to take responsibility for the EU’s fair share. 

“However, the work is far from being done here: we are still missing precise and transparent consequences, when member states fail to deliver – and to fully deliver on this will require a treaty change. Even more important are political initiatives that provide for greenhouse gas emission cuts beyond the sum of member state contributions, such as the development of a better integrated mobility infrastructure. A Single European Railway Area would be a good start!”, comments Moritz Schleicher, Executive Board Member of JEF Europe.

The climate crisis can be addressed through both economic and technological measures, but these have to be complemented by comprehensive political solutions. “The climate crisis doesn’t stop at borders. We create boundaries, imposing them on nature and ourselves, but then keep creating cross-border problems without developing any true, global solutions. The air we breathe and the water we drink, our climate and our environment are our collective responsibility: only the democratic unification of Europe and, in the longer term, of the whole world, can guarantee effective and democratic action against global warming”, adds  Høstgaard Poulsen.

There is no more time to waste – it is the most pressing challenge of our time. Only by acting as one can we find common global solutions to a global crisis. As federalists, we are committed to putting both our energy and expertise in fighting for democratic supranational institutions in support of the climate movement. The fight for climate is also our fight!



On the 7th of October, 2020, the European Parliament adopted its position on the European Climate Law, which aims to achieve the goal of making climate neutrality by 2050 a legally binding obligation for the European Union and all of its Member States. Moreover, the EP agreed on a 60% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2030. Once passed into law, the bill will allow the Commission to issue legally-binding guidelines to ensure the EU as a whole and its individual Member States respect their obligation to cut greenhouse gas emissions by investing in green technologies and protecting the environment. 


About JEF Europe

The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO with 10,000  members active in over 30 countries. The organisation strives towards a federal Europe based on the principles of democracy and subsidiarity as well as respect for human rights. JEF promotes true European Citizenship, and works towards more active participation of young people in democratic life. While the umbrella organisation JEF Europe was founded in 1972, its sections have been operating continuously since the end of the Second World War, making it the oldest pro-European and only federalist youth organisation.


JEF on Climate Policy

21.07.2020 Press release: JEF Europe calls on MEPs to make MFF truly historic

9.05.2020 Press release: European CSOs call for radical strengthening of the EU after the COVID-19 crisis

9.04.2020 Resolution: Better integrated and more sustainable mobility infrastructure for an Ever Closer Union

20.02.2020 Press release: EU budget negotiations: rather than net-zero emissions, it’s net-zero commitments



Contact information

Andreas Høstgaard Poulsen

Executive Board Member

Young European Federalists

Rue d’Arlon 53

1040 Brussels



Moritz Schleicher

Executive Board Member

Young European Federalists

Rue d’Arlon 53

1040 Brussels