As King Charles of England expressed at COP 28, while the world is drifting into uncharted waters due to global warming, concerns about the future of the European Green Deal, one of the most critical moves in combating climate change, have materialized due to the far-right gaining strength in the European Elections (EE24). The criticisms from far-right politicians about the ban on combustion engines and its potential to cause employment issues in the European Union indicate that concerns about the future of the European Green Deal are not unfounded in the newly formed parliamentary structure. 

The rise of the right-wing is not the only factor

There are many factors influencing the rise of far-right groups in the European Union and the weakening political ambition behind the European Green Deal regulations. The ongoing war of attrition in Ukraine, disrupted economic balances worldwide, escalating tensions in the Middle East following Israel’s attacks, rising unemployment, and the dysfunctionality of the UN Security Council all, if fact, complicate the implementation of the European Green Deal. Additionally, the U.S. elections in November 2024 is among the most critical factors to consider for the success of the European Green Deal.  

The success and desired outcomes of the European Green Deal regulations depend on a global understanding based on collaboration. With increasing economic and geopolitical risks on the international stage, countries are turning towards more protectionist policies, and political parties with populist rhetoric are gaining more power within their societies. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the election results in the EU and the future of the European Green Deal within this broader perspective  

Green policies will become harder to legislate 

The Greens’ loss of a total of 18 seats, primarily in France and Germany, the economic powerhouses of the European Union, is striking as it indicates the discontent with the restraining impact of the European Green Deal regulations on the economy. The strong reaction of farmers in the European Union to the Nature Restoration Law clearly demonstrated how discontent with the European Green Deal regulations can transform into societal backlash. The election results in the European Union show that, for voters, climate policies have taken a back seat to issues like rising cost of living.  

While criticisms persist that the European Union’s target of a 55% reduction in emissions by 2030 is insufficient to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree Celsius goal, there is curiosity about the stance the European Parliament, now empowered by the far-right, will adopt regarding steps necessary to achieve the 90% emission reduction target set for 2040. It is likely that discussions within the European Parliament concerning regulations introduced to combat climate change in the upcoming period will be more contentious, potentially increasing the likelihood of these regulations being watered down. 

Even far-right politicians cannot deny the necessity to combat climate change 

On the flip side, research shows that there is no hesitation among European citizens about the need to combat climate change. The problem seems to begin with the policy tools to be used in this fight and their impact on the daily lives of citizens. 

Political parties in the European Union do not base their policies entirely on ideological positions. It is expected that scientific reports on climate change will somewhat soften the far-right’s stance on the European Green Deal policies. According to a report by the World Meteorological Organization, the European Union is the fastest warming continent in the world. The extreme heat experienced in Portugal and Spain last year and the flooding in Northern Europe demonstrate that abandoning the fight against climate change due to ideological blindness is not feasible. However, criticisms regarding the potential harm of misguided climate policies to the EU’s competitiveness in global trade and the consequent decline in the quality of life for European citizens must be managed well to avoid social unrest. 

The European Green Deal is shaping global climate policies 

The future of the EU’s climate policies will continue to influence climate policies in other countries. For example, the introduction of the Border Carbon Adjustment Mechanism in October 2023 has accelerated efforts in countries like Turkey, which have strong trade relations with the EU, to establish national climate laws and consequently national emission trading systems. Regulations such as the New Eco design Criteria for Sustainable Products are also speeding up decarbonization activities in other countries that seek to maintain export relations with the EU. Due to the political stance of far-right parties in the new parliamentary composition, relaxing the EU’s climate policies could slow down efforts by companies in other countries on decarbonization, transition to a circular economy, and social sustainability. 

At this point, the ability of political parties in the European Union to effectively manage a negotiation process over the next five years related to the implementation of the European Green Deal regulations will be crucial. Because the European Green Deal elements, through the “Brussels Effect,” have the potential to strengthen climate policies in other countries via global value chains. 


Global macroeconomic trends are making it difficult to implement the European Green Deal regulations. The investments and sanctions necessary for the green and digital transformation impact the lives of EU citizens in the form of costs, while other countries prioritizing competition over bearing the costs of green transformation have contributed to a political shift in favor of the far-right in the EU. On the other hand, it is possible to say that there is a consensus among political parties in the EU on the impacts of climate change. Therefore, it is difficult to claim that the European Green Deal regulations will be entirely shelved with the rise of the far-right. However, it is evident that implementing the European Green Deal regulations in the future will not be as easy as it once was. 

As long as current emission trends continue, the well-being of future generations is under significant threat due to global warming and the European Green Deal is the only viable policy tool to encourage other countries to establish a global front and cooperation mechanism to mitigate the impacts of climate crisis. In this sense, the decisions political parties will make after negotiations in the new post-election context in the European Union will be crucial for the future of the European Green Deal and its implications for climate policies in other countries.