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The World Goes to the Polls for the Climate

June 10, 2024

One of the busiest election cycles in history is coming to a close! Recently, hundreds of millions of voters in South Africa, India, and Mexico have exercised their democratic rights, with millions more in the European Union set to do the same this weekend.

Here are some key environmental challenges and political outcomes from these elections:

India:

  • PM Narendra Modi’s BJP won more seats than any other party but fell short of a majority, needing coalition partners.
  • Climate challenges include extreme heatwaves and transitioning from coal to renewable energy.
  • Farmers face unpredictable weather and dwindling groundwater, pressuring Modi to address agricultural impacts of climate change.

South Africa:

  • The ANC lost its political monopoly for the first time in 30 years.
  • Unreliable power supply and dependence on coal are major issues.
  • The Just Energy Transition Partnership aims to shift from coal, but progress has been slow.

Mexico:

  • Claudia Sheinbaum, a climate scientist, won by a landslide.
  • Mixed climate record, with achievements in electrifying public transport and solar energy, but also support for controversial infrastructure projects.
  • Balancing renewable energy expansion with support for Pemex, the national oil company.

European Union:

  • Elections will decide if the bloc continues its ambitious climate policies or faces a rollback by far-right politicians.
  • EU has set significant targets for emission reductions and renewable energy but faces backlash over rising prices and nature-friendly policies.
  • As these new leaders navigate their respective environmental challenges, the outcomes of these elections will shape the global response to climate change.

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