EU Parliament declares climate “emergency” in symbolic move

EU Parliament declares climate “emergency” in symbolic move
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, third right, and Frans Timmermans, second right, first vice-President of the European Commission, pose for a family photo with European Commissioners at the European Parliament Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 in Strasbourg, eastern France. Ursula von der Leyen told the EU plenary in Strasbourg, France, shortly before she and her team of commissioners were approved in vote of 461/157 with 89 abstentions , that she would work on "a European Green Deal" so the EU can continue to be a global leader on the climate change issue. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s legislature has declared a “climate emergency” in a symbolic bid to push the issue as high as possible on the agenda of the EU’s executive team.

The parliament voted 429/225 with 19 abstentions to call the increasing environmental challenges linked to climate change an “emergency.”

Renew Europe MEP Pascal Canfin, who initiated the move, said it made Europe “the first continent to declare a climate and environmental emergency.” Canfin said the parliament is meeting the expectations of European citizens.

The 28-nation EU has long been at the forefront of the global climate debate, a role that has been reinforced since the United States pulled out of the Paris climate agreement.