The new Green Deal announced by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in December represents Europe at its best and its worst.The proposition is bold, comprehensive and detailed. It reminds me of the vision and detail behind the Common Agricultural Policy, the single market and the European currency. Any company or investor who thinks that the notion of a carbon-free Europe is just rhetoric or political posturing — as I suspect the Green New Deal being proposed in the US is — needs to think again. This is a serious shift in European policy, creating a new agenda for the bloc that will shape its development, as the Cap did in the 1960s and as the creation of the euro has over the last 20 years.The Green Deal envisions a power sector based largely on renewable sources, the rapid phasing out of coal, decarbonisation of gas and a focus on energy efficiency. The strategy will affect many established businesses, particularly those working in the eastern Europe coal market, and change Europe’s pattern of trade. Countries can, for instance, retain their nuclear sectors, but none of the funding provided to support the transition will go to those industries, which are regarded as unsustainable. The Green Deal is a very clear step towards a common European energy policy. The Green Deal is the most fundamental shift in European energy policy we have seen in 20 years. Companies in the sector should not underestimate the disruption it will bring.
FT 27th Jan 2020 read more »