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30 Apr 2020, 12:36
Julian Wettengel

EU Green Deal must be at centre of coronavirus recovery – climate experts

Clean Energy Wire

The European Green Deal presents an ideal foundation for the economic recovery after the coronavirus crisis, according to panellists at the online Global Solutions Summit. Ottmar Edenhofer, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research (PIK), said the most important thing at this time was to “make the Green Deal a European solidarity project”. As a second step, the EU should set up a fund to stimulate large investments in sustainable, climate-friendly projects for the period after the corona crisis and ensure that it can also work beyond the EU. This is necessary, as many countries, particularly in the emerging markets, are thinking about a recovery plan not consistent with sustainable development, one where coal comes back into the pipeline. Amar Bhattacharya of the Brookings Institution said now was not the time for just any type of recovery, but rather an opportunity for “a sustained increase in investment if we are to transform the world in a way that delivers on climate and sustainable development goals [SDGs] for a better world.” Laurence Tubiana, former French chief climate diplomat and head of the European Climate Foundation*, called for “a more holistic green recovery diplomacy” with the Green Deal at the centre. “If we stabilise the crisis in 2020, next year can be a special year for building the foundation of a new multilateral system and a new global economy,” she said.

As the coronavirus crisis drives many governments across the globe to introduce emergency plans to cushion the immediate economic effects, there are growing calls to align any mid and long-term stimulus efforts with climate targets. Germany's top politicians and many large companies have thrown their weight behind such a green stimulus.

* The Clean Energy Wire is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.

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