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Welcome to the green revolution.
This is the first time that Politico has ranked the 28 people with the greatest impact on sustainability, environment, mobility, climate and energy policies in the European Union – all areas that are rapidly changing through the bloc’s push for decarbonization in response to growing climate concern. Change and degradation of biodiversity.
While climate change has been steadily moving on the policy agenda for years — the shift from a fringe concern to the core of the European Commission’s current programme, manifested in the Green Deal’s push to make climate bloc neutral by 2050 — this year the effort has been overshadowed by the war. Russia’s bloody and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine touches nearly every aspect of EU policymaking – from the rapid effort to wean the continent off its dependence on Russian energy, to the environmental impact of what Russian forces are doing in Ukraine.
As the European Union holds emergency summits to deal with the growing energy crisis sparked by Russia, policy work continues on a set of green agenda items. Brussels’ massive “Fit for 55” project aims to cut emissions by 55% by the end of the decade. Doing so would mean massive changes in how Europeans live, work and travel. Negotiations are still underway to set strict emissions limits for cars by 2035 so that the sale of new combustion-engine cars would be effectively banned – which would have to be twinned with the costly project to build a network of recharging stations across the continent. The bloc is talking about expanding its prominent emissions trading system to include transportation and buildings – two huge sources of greenhouse gases. Renewable energy is getting a boost. The mechanism for adjusting carbon limits is being perfected to ensure that European companies do not lose manufacturers in permissive jurisdictions while avoiding the risk of a trade war with the US and China. The fuels that power ships and planes are being reconsidered. Agriculture and forests should become greener. The Social Climate Fund aims to reduce the negative shocks of such a transition. The commission also plans to tackle air pollution, reduce waste and toughen requirements for companies to prove beyond their green claims.
Getting this massive amount of legislation and regulation through Brussels includes all EU institutions, as well as armies of NGOs, think tanks and lobbyists.
All these people make up the EU’s greener and cleaner future. That’s why we’ve taken a look at who has the most influence – good or bad – on green policy next year. POLITICO’s Top 28 Reporters list has been created covering sustainability, energy, climate, mobility, agriculture, and more.
We chose the person who would have the greatest impact over the next year, then divided the remaining 27 green heavyweights into three groups of nine: rule makers, influencers, and visionaries, and scored them according to their strength, vision, and reach. .
The list of rule-makers is, for obvious reasons, filled with politicians – from high-ranking ministers pressing their countries to go green to MEPs like Peter Lacey, Mohamed Shaheem and Jutta Paulus, who play key roles in getting the 55’s physique through the body. Legislative. .
For influencers, we looked at people who may not have clear political power, but whose views have a significant impact on the shape of the bloc’s environmental policies. The list includes insiders such as Anais Bertier, head of the Brussels office for legal charity ClientEarth, and Louisa Neubauer, a German climate activist who has been a critical force in the Friday for Future movement. Christian Lambert, head of the Cuban farmers’ lobby, is also set to push ministers to reconsider, delay or delete parts of the EU’s greener farming agenda.
Among the political dreamers, scientists, businessmen and academic Carlos Moreno, who wants to redesign cities so that everything people need from shopping to work to entertainment can be found within 15 minutes of home. We’ve also included a range of CEOs hoping to use green transformation to create viable businesses, from Peter Carlson, founder of battery developer Northvolt, to Antoine Hubert, CEO of Ÿnsect, which aims to replace farmed meat with delicious insects.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the list, and hope you enjoy reading it.
Jan Sinsky is Politico’s Senior Policy Editor.