The European commission has put down a marker for the world with its green recovery package. It sets a high standard for other nations, using the rebuilding of coronavirus-ravaged economies to tackle the even greater threat of the climate emergency, in principle at least. With the world fast approaching the point when climate chaos becomes inevitable, how the trillions of recovery dollars – or euros – are spent is a use-it-or-lose-it moment, so what the EU does really matters. Climate change is a global crisis, meaning all nations must act and some must lead the way. The EU’s plan seeks to pour money into emissions-busting sectors: €91bn (£81bn) a year for home energy efficiency and green heating, €25bn of renewable energy, and €20bn for clean cars over two years, plus 2m charging points in five years. Up to €60bn will go to zero-emissions trains and the production of 1m tonnes of clean hydrogen is planned. At least a million green jobs will be created, with workers in polluting industries helped into new roles, a critical part of the plan. Increasing the Just Transition Fund more than fivefold to €40bn minimises the risk of protests against green measures, especially in states with the heaviest coal use such as Poland, Germany and Romania, which will be among the biggest recipients. This is politically necessary, despite investment in the green economy already being a no-brainer.
Guardian 28th May 2020 read more »