Since the COVID-19 crisis started to take over in Europe, bringing the economy and social life to a near standstill, the worries that the EU Green Deal and its related climate policies will increasingly become less important in the EU recovery plan are becoming more visible. CEEP calls out to EU institutions and Member States to continue the efforts to reach an EU wide climate neutrality by 2050 and to make the EU Green Deal the backbone of this recovery plan.
The COVID-19 crisis has not eradicated the challenges of climate change and further action must be made. For this reason, CEEP supports the recent call by 17 EU Climate and Environment Ministers to place the EU Green Deal at the heart of the EU’s recovery plan and the recent adopted Joint Resolution by the European Parliament on the COVID-19 Recovery plan making the EU Green Deal an essential part of it. However, with great concern CEEP sees some trying to use this crisis as an excuse to delay and hinder the necessary needed climate policies. The top priority of the EU Green Deal must not be overshadowed by this crisis and the momentum must be maintained to keep up the work to transform our economy, society and environment for a more resilient and sustainable future.
CEEP will continue to answer to the challenges of this challenging time both economically and environmentally. In particular, what matters the most is to continue the work on the right climate instruments and how to achieve our agreed objectives for energy efficiency, renewable energy as well as in the building and the transport sector. Concretely, the right investments and driving the funds in the Sustainable European Investment Plan, Taxonomy and the Just Transition Fund will be crucial to achieve our objectives for 2030 and beyond. However, as long as there is no final agreement on the Multi Financial Framework, it will be vital to ensure the discussion around the long-term sustainable development strategies is kept alive.
It is during moments of crisis like this that we cannot lose track of how important it is to work on a sustainable path that will serve our environment and the economy in the long term. At this point, it is important to highlight that Europe does not have to choose between the two. CEEP believes that the next steps should be to make use of this crisis and take a new chance to recreate the European economic development by pairing a recovery of the economy with strong climate and energy objectives across all sectors.
Europe can emerge stronger and more sustainable by taking the objectives of the new Circular Economy Action Plan as the main source for rebuilding the economy. SGIs and public services understand that the rules of our economy and our society will have to be re-defined and the importance of finding solutions that will protect the public wellbeing, our environment and the socioeconomic aspects will become more important than ever. The goal should be a sustainable recovery that is creating new jobs and prospects whilst enhancing the necessary climate action for more resilience. Only then will Europe truly recover the economy for all from this COVID-19 crisis.