The European Green Deal is the European commission’s proposed €1tn plan to finance the transition away from fossil fuels to decarbonising Europe’s economy. But the commission quietly dropped the word “new” from original US plans for a green new deal, which of course echo Franklin D Roosevelt’s Depression-era economic New Deal. Losing that “new” is a signal that the commission does not seek system change through ambitious green macroeconomics and tough regulation of carbon financiers. Rather, it takes a politics as usual, third-way approach that seeks to nudge the market towards decarbonisation. The macroeconomics of the European Green Deal remains trapped in the black zero logic of austerity. Instead of ambitious green fiscal activism, it mostly reshuffles existing European funds through a logic of seed funding to mobilise private sector money. Public money will be used to take risk out of private business activities and finance a “just transition” mechanism that promises to protect groups like Polish miners after their coal mines close through retraining and reskilling programmes. But there is little guarantee that European taxpayer money will reach Polish miners. It will probably go into the pockets of decarbonisation “barons”: clever local elites who will funnel transition money to their businesses, just as land barons siphoned most of the subsidies originally intended for small farmers under the common agricultural policy.
Guardian 19th Feb 2020 read more »