Interview: EEB's Wates on the new EU executive, 'friendly fire', and why climate criminals should be behind bars

Last year saw a series of landmark developments in European environment policy, culminating in the unveiling just 11 days after taking office of the new EU executive's European Green Deal (EGD). For Jeremy Wates, the long standing secretary general of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), this “crowning moment” of 2019 marked a clean break with the “obstructive” practices of the European Commission of Jean-Claude Juncker.

Wates, whose organisation represents more than 160 civil society organisations from more than 35 European countries, spoke to ENDS this week about the tumultuous year that was 2019, which saw a 'green wave' contribute to a major shift in the balance of power in the European Parliament and the commission, and what lies ahead. He also warned about the danger of “friendly fire” between established environmental groups and more radical grassroots movements, and explained why it is time to see prison terms for crimes against the environment.

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