15. Apr 2020

Alliance appeals for a ‘green recovery’ for a sustainable future

Some 180 European politicians, business leaders, MEPs and environmental activists led by Pascal Canfin, Chair of the Environment Committee in the European Parliament have formed a European alliance for a green recovery from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The goal: to increase green investment in the bloc to develop "a new European economic model " built around Green principles and based on sustainability, the protection of biodiversity, and the transformation of the EU's agri-food system.

Signatories of the green recovery alliance’s call for mobilisation statement, published Monday, 14 April not only include 79 MEPs from across the political spectrum, but also civil society groups, including 37 CEOs, 28 business associations, the European trade union confederation, 7 NGOs and 6 thinktanks.

According to this statement ‘the major shock to the economy and workers created by the pandemic calls for a strong coordinated economic response.’ The signatories therefore ‘welcome the declaration of European leaders stating that they will do “whatever it takes” to tackle the social and economic consequences of this crisis’.

They point to the period after the crisis, when it will be necessary to rebuild the economy. ‘This moment of recovery will be an opportunity to rethink our society and develop a new model of prosperity’ and require ‘massive investments,’ the statement continues.

‘These massive investments must trigger a new European economic model: more resilient, more protective, more sovereign and more inclusive. All these requirements lie in an economy built around Green principles. Indeed, the transition to a climate-neutral economy, the protection of biodiversity and the transformation of agri-food systems have the potential to rapidly deliver jobs, growth and improve the way of life of all citizens worldwide, and to contribute to building more resilient societies.’

The tools and technologies are there, as is the political will, the plans and strategy. ‘Projects such as the European Green Deal, and other national zero carbon development plans have a huge potential to build back our economy and contribute to creating a new prosperity model’ the signatories write.

However, they acknowledge that ‘the social impact of the Covid-19 epidemic is already tremendous and resistance to further investments in the transition to a climate-neutral economy is not the way forward. For initiatives, such as the European Green Deal, to continue to be widely accepted, they more than ever have to respond to the social needs of our society….. We call on a global alliance of cross-party political decision-makers, business and financial leaders, trade unions, NGOs, think tankers, stakeholders, to support and implement the establishment of Green Recovery Investment Packages acting as accelerators of the transition towards climate neutrality and healthy ecosystems.’

‘Covid-19 will not make climate change and nature degradation go away. We will not win the fight against covid-19 without a solid economic response. Let’s not oppose those two battles, but let’s fight and win them at the same time. By doing so, we will only be stronger together’.

Image: Pascal Canfin, © European Union 2020 - Source : EP

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