In an Open Letter signed in the first week of April, the environment and climate change Ministers of eleven European Union countries call for the European Green New Deal to be central to the post-pandemic economic recovery plans of the EU. By April 14, that initiative was boosted by the launch of a larger Green Recovery Alliance, including over 70 Members of the European Parliament and civil society groups, including CEO’s, business associations, NGO’s, think tanks, and the European Trade Union Confederation. In its 4-page Green Recovery Call to Action, the Alliance acknowledges the urgency of the Covid-19 health crisis, and states:
“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 of prosperity. 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…… “Projects such as the European Green Deal, and other national zero carbon development plans have a huge potential to build back our economy and contribute to creating a new prosperity model. We therefore consider that we need to prepare Europe for the future, and design recovery plans, both at the local, national and at the EU level, enshrining the fight against climate change as the core of the economic strategy. The time has come to turn these plans into actions and investments that will change the life of citizens and contribute to the quick recovery of our economies and our societies.” [emphasis by the WCR editor].
This European initiative is consistent with a worldwide movement for a Just Recovery from Covid-19, co-ordinated by 350.org. In the U.S., this is allied with the People’s Bailout movement, described in a previous WCR post , and sharing the same five principles. The #Just Recovery Open Letter states:
“ We, the undersigned organisations, call for a global response to COVID-19 to contribute to a just recovery. Responses at every level must uphold these five principles:
- Put people’s health first, no exceptions.
- Provide economic relief directly to the people.
- Help our workers and communities, not corporate executives.
- Create resilience for future crises.
- Build solidarity and community across borders – do not empower authoritarians.”
Both the European and Global movements are described in “Pairing ‘Green Deal’ With ‘Just Recovery’ in EU, Groups Embrace Tackling COVID-19 and Climate Emergency in Tandem” in Common Dreams (April 10). The newsletter Euractiv describes the European initiative in ‘Green recovery alliance’ launched in European Parliament (April 14) .