Babiš is said to want to “sweep the green fanatics out of the European Parliament”. If we leave aside the fact that the EU’s green legislation under the heading of the Green Deal was created during Babiš’s premiership and it was he who voted for its adoption at the round table at the European Council, the European Parliament does not even directly propose green legislation.
Andrej Babiš is betting on the fight against the green Brussels in the upcoming European elections. But the inspiration of Orbán’s campaign may backfire on him again. Just like it happened with the presidential election. As data from the STEM agency show, Czechs are not climate skeptics or rejecters of renewable energy sources. On the contrary, there is broad agreement that climate change is already taking place today or will occur soon, which is claimed by roughly 73% of Czechs. And when it comes to the question of when it would be necessary to start solving climate problems, half of the Czech population would like to do so immediately. The next quarter would ideally start this decade.
From the interview that Andrej Babiš gave to Mladá fronta Dnes last week, a clear message emerged: Babiš wants to “sweep the green fanatics out of the European Parliament”. If we leave aside the fact that the EU’s green legislation under the heading of the Green Deal was created during Babiš’s premiership and it was he who voted for its adoption at the round table at the European Council, the European Parliament does not even directly propose green legislation. He can comment on it, but it is created by the European Commission and approved by the European Council.
But Babiš can succeed in something. Concerns about the economic and social impacts of the green transformation resonate strongly in society. These concerns and the speed with which changes are happening from the perspective of ordinary citizens pose the greatest risk to the success of green policies. It is up to the government to show with concrete examples that it takes these concerns into account and has a plan to address them. After all, this is also what the public wants, which identified the government as the main actor in the fight against climate change and in the modernization of the economy. A total of 37% of the public would imagine that they will participate in such activities significantly more than before. Just for comparison, according to only 27% of the population, the European Union should devote significantly more attention to the topic than it has so far.
In terms of renewable energy sources, the data from STEM paint a completely different picture than the one Babiš, as well as some government politicians, are trying to tell us. The overwhelming majority of the population is in favor of the construction of renewable energy sources. More than 80% of the population would welcome the development of solar, water and wind energy. Nuclear energy enjoys the support of 61% of the population, placing it in fifth place behind biomass energy. Support for coal power comes last at 26%.
The Czechs are therefore clear, but concerns about the speed of transformation remain. The sooner the government pays attention to them, the more it will help itself to succeed in the next elections.
The author is the director of the Czech interests in the EU project (joint project of STEM, AMO, EUROPEUM and Europe in data)
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