Sabotaging EU climate policy: Right-wing attack on new EU methane regulation

15 February 2023

An attack by the ultra-right Identity Group (ID) against the new EU Methane Regulation is underway in the European Parliament. False allegations are being used to try to stop the legislative process and prevent stricter EU regulations against the climate killing gas, methane. The credibility and sovereignty of the European Parliament are being deliberately damaged.

As rapporteur for the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee, I have been negotiating the new EU Methane Regulation with all other political groups in the European Parliament for months. The law is part of the Green Deal and also serves to implement the Global Methane Pledge, which the European Union signed at the 2021 climate conference in Glasgow.

Contrary to the usual legislative procedure, two committees are involved: The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on the Environment. The ultra-right ID group is in charge of the negotiations in the Environment Committee ENVI. This group is instrumentalising a template used by the Greens to spread false allegations and delay the negotiations for the new Methane Regulation.

A non-governmental organisation, like many other stakeholders, sent us their position papers for the new law. Because one of the documents contained a useful table format, this document was used as a template. All text content of the NGO was deleted and the empty table was filled with our own proposals for compromises between the political groups. Since Microsoft Word saves the first creator of a document as the “author” for all subsequent documents, even if all content and the file name have been changed, the right-wingers now claim that I allowed a non-governmental organisation to write the basis for negotiations between the political groups. They make this false allegation in order to obstruct the work on this important law. Their negotiator claims that she has lost confidence and refuses further negotiations. I have recently proved that the text of the non-governmental organisation does not match in any point with the compromise proposals my team and I have worked out. On substance, everything is clarified. Sabotaging a legislative process is a disrespectful attack on democratic decision-making.

I have sent all the documents concerned to the committee chairs as well as to the co-negotiating colleagues so that they can check everything for themselves. As rapporteur, I will of course continue to fight for a swift conclusion of the EU methane regulation. Without binding measures to reduce methane, the EU will not achieve its climate goals.