Climate a ‘signature issue’ as Ursula von der Leyen anointed EU chief

Lawmakers backed the German politician as European Commission president by a slim majority on Tuesday, after she met calls to strengthen climate ambition.

The European Parliament confirmed Ursula von der Leyen as the first women president of the European Commission in a nail-biting vote on Tuesday that put climate change centre stage.

The German former defence minister scraped the majority she needed, with 383 votes to 327. Both the liberal Renew Europe and the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) groups announced they would back her nomination less than an hour before the secret ballot started.

Climate change played a decisive role after liberal, socialist and green blocs all demanded von der Leyen strengthen her climate platform as a condition for their support.

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