Leading Environment and Climate Organisations Score European Parliament's 2019-2024 Performance

    📅 15/04/2024

Brussels, 15/04/24 – New in-depth data research from five leading climate and environment organisations reveals that only a minority of MEPs during the 2019 – 2024 mandate acted to protect Europe’s climate, nature and air quality. The majority of MEPs acted instead as either procrastinators or prehistoric thinkers, delaying real action with patchy and inconsistent voting records, or worse, completely failing to rise to the challenge of the crises Europe is facing.

The potential benefits to citizens of a socially just transition to a climate-neutral, nature positive and zero pollution Europe are enormous and over the past five years, the European Parliament has had the power and the opportunity to act boldly to lead the European Union down this path. This June, citizens will be able to hold their representatives accountable for their recent parliamentary performance and demand higher ambition from the European Parliament in the years to come.

To support this, BirdLife Europe, Climate Action Network Europe, European Environmental Bureau, Transport & Environment and WWF European Policy Office have analysed European Parliament voting records of the last five years to provide citizens with an interactive overview that scores all the national political parties and European Parliamentary Groups based on their voting performance.

The EU Parliament Scoreboard

The EU Parliament Scoreboard looks at the individual voting behaviour of every MEP during the 2019-2024 legislative term and scores them against the voting recommendations of the five European environmental organisations. This provides a measure of each MEPs commitment to environmental sustainability – with the result being a score out of 100. Results are aggregated in the scoreboard for political groups and national parties represented in the European Parliament.

The scoring assesses voting behaviour across 30 policy files, comprising key climate, energy and environmental legislation. 12 policy files focused on a climate-neutral and socially just transition, 8 focused on a nature-positive Europe, and 10 focused on the circular economy and achieving zero pollution. 

Headline Scores

There is naturally diversity and nuance within political groups and national parties and it is possible to find protectors across the political spectrum – with the exception of the far-right. The following scores are headline figures based on the aggregates and the full breakdown of each group, party and vote can be found in the EU Parliament Scoreboard:

The Protectors

  • Greens / European Free Alliance – 92/100
  • The Left – 84/100
  • Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats – 70/100

The Procrastinators

  • Renew Europe – 56/100

The Prehistoric Thinkers

  • European People’s Party – 25/100
  • European Conservatives and Reformists – 10/100
  • Identity and Democracy – 6/100

From the Directors

Ariel Brunner, Director at BirdLife Europe: ‘Nature is collapsing, and if we allow it to collapse, we’ll go down with it. Europe has proven that it can bring back species from the brink of extinction, clean up rivers, and protect precious habitats. Opinion polls consistently show that Europeans care about nature and want to see it restored, alongside fighting the climate crisis, but whether this happens or not depends on the people they choose to represent them in the EU Parliament.’ 

Chiara Martinelli, Director at Climate Action Network Europe: ‘Now is the time for European citizens to wake up to the real possibility of a European Parliament full of prehistoric thinkers – to get out and vote for parties that can provide the climate protectors we so deeply need to improve and strengthen the European Green Deal. Climate vulnerable regions in Europe and around the world need and expect continued action – and the only way forward from here is a fossil-free, socially just, and climate-neutral European Union.’

Faustine Bas-Defossez, Director for Nature, Health and Environment at the European Environmental Bureau: ‘Citizens across Europe have a critical opportunity in the upcoming EU elections to steer our continent towards a future that prioritises health, is toxic-free and tackles the urgent challenge of the pollution crisis we face. The EU Scoreboard will help finding out which political parties champion the Green Deal and prioritise the well-being of both people and the planet. It’s crucial that we elect representatives committed to bold action towards a cleaner, healthier Europe for all.’

William Todts, Executive Director at Transport & Environment: ‘The EU is a force for good when it comes to climate action. From clean cars to carbon taxes for planes and ships, the EU has done what national governments couldn’t or wouldn’t do. In many European countries there would be very little environmental protection without the EU. The voting results show that some parties have been less forward looking, voting to keep dirty and polluting transport and energy artificially alive. The June elections will determine who’s in charge in Europe until 2029. We can’t take progress for granted.’

Ester Asin, Director at WWF European Policy Office: ‘In the EU’s journey towards energy independence, we have achieved steady progress in the past few years: in 2022, 23% of our energy came from renewable sources. But nearly 60% of that came from biomass. There are still far too many prehistoric thinkers in the European Parliament who continue to believe the propaganda put out by bioenergy industry lobbyists that burning trees and crops will reduce emissions. The EU’s absurd bioenergy policies must be changed. Looking ahead, we need leaders who strive to build an affordable, clean and genuinely renewable energy future. It is the only way to protect Europeans from the harsh impacts of climate change and the biodiversity crisis.’


Notes to the Editor

  1. The interactive EU Parliament Scoreboard can be accessed here (password prior to the embargo: eu_scoreboard_2024).
  2. More information about the EU Scoreboard, including key conclusions, country analysis and methodology can be accessed here.
  3. The methodology and the full list of policy files and votes that were analysed can be accessed here (password prior to the embargo: methodology-scoreboard2024).

Media inquiries Contact

Tomas Spragg Nilsson, Senior Communications Officer, CAN Europe, tomas.spraggnilsson@caneurope.org+46 707 65 63 92