Jo Leinen: veteran greenie with big ideas

Having engaged with green issues for more than 30 years, the new chair of the European Parliament's environment committee has high hopes for his role, Sonja van Renssen finds.

“Climate policy could be the third big integration project for Europe after the common market and monetary union,” Jo Leinen, new chair of the European Parliament’s environment committee, says slowly and deliberately in his office.

He has been in his role since the summer, but Mr Leinen is a veteran German Socialist MEP who has been in the parliament for a decade. Up until the summer, he chaired the parliament’s constitutional affairs committee, which focused above all on the Lisbon Treaty.

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