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The Guardian view on Europe’s imperilled green deal: time to outflank the radical right | Editorial

The burden of transition on economically insecure voters must be eased via a more ambitious fiscal approach by governments

Following the European parliament elections of 2019, the newly elected president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, told MEPs: “If there is one area where the world needs our leadership, it is on protecting our climate … We do not have a moment to waste. The faster Europe moves, the greater the advantage will be for our citizens, our competitiveness and our prosperity.”

Five years on, all that remains true, and the urgency of taking decisive action is even greater. Last week, the United Nations general secretary, António Guterres, warned that the world faced “climate crunch time”, referring to new data revealing that the crucial 1.5C threshold for global heating was breached over the past year. But the politics of climate action in Europe is lurching in the wrong direction at alarming speed.

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