The European Union as well as the whole world finds itself in historically challenging times. Covid-19 strikes hard on societies, but the way larger threat – climate change – did not pause one single day.
Worldwide public debates and media attention seems to indicate that the climate emergency has lost its strong focus and momentum, which it had gained in the last year and which led to the EU ambition as laid out by the EU Green Deal and its related legislation.
Societies would globally be well advised to not delaying the fight against climate change due to the health crisis – the opposite is the case. Billions and billions of Euros are earmarked for the economic recovery – to help societies, citizens, independents, companies, artists etc. However, this recovery and restructuring can be done both in a smart and forward-looking way – or in the backward facing way investing money into wrong technologies, energy sources and behaviours and thereby creating new stranded investments and new lock-in situations.
The European Union must therefore find ways to link both – the fight against climate change and the Covid-19-recovery plans. A greening of the recovery should be the main priority right now. Huge synergies are possible to strengthen and modernise the economy, whilst leaving no-one behind.
This high level debate of members of the European Parliament, several members of EU27 national parliaments and the European Commission intends to establish a debate on the most critical elements and essential steps forward into a green recovery. Ideally, new ideas will come up how to put the EU 2030 and 2050 ambition and the development of renewables and energy efficiency as core climate solutions and as drivers of home-grown economic recovery at the core of the recovery.
The manifold contributions from the European and the national level, from different political groups and from Member States parliaments all across the EU will look at different angles and perspectives of the debate. The debate thereby hopes to give fresh inspiration and a new strong motivation to the audience about how EU can move forward and how to turn this catastrophic health situation into a jump forward into future technologies, infrastructures, energy sources and societal behaviours.