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For a Green Future!

After a few weeks in lockdown mode, the calls for a recovery of the economy and society are getting louder all over the world. However, more and more people do not want a simple return to the situation before the corona crisis.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

The economy is in a tailspin. It has long been clear that the world is facing a recession after the Corona crisis, but there are different opinions on how to fight it. Quite a few companies want to seize the opportunity and completely cancel out the unpopular climate protection. Demands for a softening of environmental regulations that were previously fought over for years, or ideally an abolition of these regulations, are more than opportune.

But there are also increasing numbers of those who stress that there can be no simple "business as usual". They also see the corona crisis as an opportunity to tackle the next major challenge facing the global community: climate change. Because you don't have to be a scientist to understand that a short-term reduction in CO2 emissions due to the lockdown cannot permanently halt climate change.

Already last week, 13 European climate and environment ministers focused on climate protection in a joint communication: "We must not lose sight of the persisting climate and ecological crisis. Building momentum to fight this battle has to stay high on the political agenda. The lesson from the Covid-19 crisis is that early action is essential. Therefore, we need to maintain ambition in order to mitigate the risks and costs of inaction from climate change and biodiversity losses. We cannot afford setbacks that can have detrimental effects on our climate, biodiversity and environment as well as on human health and our economies."

Particularly in view of the seemingly arbitrary actions of a Donald Trump, who initially talked the corona pandemic down and now presents himself as the sole saviour of the U.S., Europeans are counting on joint action: "These crises have reminded us that answers need to be found in a concerted manner through a common European response. The EU’s capacity to act depends largely on our ability to work together in solidarity to build the bridge between fighting Covid-19, biodiversity loss and climate change."

Only a common approach ensures the welfare of all (Image: Pixabay)

Now that the first EU countries are slowly relaxing some restrictions to get the economy back on track, the initiative is gaining wider support. The politician Pascal Canfin, chairman of the European Parliament's Environment Committee, has prompted large companies to support the demands to shape a future economic order around the EU's Green Deal, i.e. to promote the energy transition, reduce CO2 emissions and focus on a greener economy.

In an open letter they call for a green rebuilding: "After the crisis, the time will come to rebuild. This moment of recovery will be an opportunity to rethink our society and develop a new model ofprosperity. This new model will have to answer to our needs and priorities.

These massive investments must trigger a new European economic model: more resilient, more protective, more sovereign and more inclusive. All these requirements lie in an economy built around Green principles. Indeed, the transition to a climate-neutral economy, the protection of biodiversity and the transformation of agri-food systems have the potential to rapidly deliver jobs, growth and improve the way of life of all citizens worldwide, and to contribute to building more resilient societies."

The call can rely on the support of global corporations. CEOs of Ikea, Coca Cola, L'Oreal, Danone, H&M, Unilever, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Nestlé, Volvo, Renault, Enel and E.ON, among others, have signed - and in addition to politicians from all parties, initiatives such as the European wind energy association WindEurope, European solar associations or the German think tank Agora Energiewende, which specializes in questions relating to energy system transition.

It is to be hoped that the influence of the companies is great enough - and honestly meant - to prevail against the demands of those who simply want to go back to the previous state!

Katrin Radtke
corona, COVID-19, crisis, WindEurope, solar, energy transition, economy, business, society, Europe, USA, climate change

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