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The Foundation joins GREENRECOVERY's call for mobilisation

May 05, 2020
Casey Horner 4R Dca5H Bl Cs Unsplash

Shaking the whole world, with devastating consequences across Europe, the Coronavirus crisis is testing the limits of the system. To help 'rebuild better' and accelerate the transition to a circular economy, we are very pleased to join the positive and collaborative efforts of GREENRECOVERY who have put out the call to REBOOT & REBOOST European economies.

In this tremendously difficult situation, we are also facing an economic crisis which is tougher than that of 2008. The major shock to the economy and workers created by the pandemic calls for a strong coordinated response. It is therefore a welcome declaration from European leaders stating that they will do “whatever it takes” to tackle the social and economic consequences. However, what worked for the 2008 financial crisis may not be sufficient to overcome this one. The economic recovery will only come with massive investments to protect and create jobs and to support all the companies, regions, and sectors that have suffered from the economy coming to a sudden halt. 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.

Massive investments must trigger a new European economic model: more resilient, more protective, more sovereign, and more inclusive. All these requirements lie within circular economy 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.

This is not a matter of creating a new economy from scratch. We already have all the tools and many new technologies. Over the last ten years, tremendous progress has been made in most transition sectors, developing new technologies and value chains, and dramatically reducing the cost of the transition (including inter alia:renewable energy, zero emission mobility, agro-ecology, energy efficiency...). Ten years ago, zero-emission vehicles were only a prototype. Ten years ago, wind energy was three times more expensive than it is today, and solar energy seven times. Ten years ago, we had not carried out renovation work on buildings showing that this action is profitable.

Political will is here, and 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.

Therefore, Europe needs to prepare for the future, and design recovery plans, at the local, national, and EU level, to enshrine 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. The social impact of the Covid-19 epidemic is already tremendous and resistance to further investments in the transition to a climate-neutral economy is not the way forward. For initiatives, such as the European Green Deal, to continue to be widely accepted, they more than ever have to respond to the social needs of our society. Progress has been made in identifying the potential social challenges of the transition, and tools have been, and can be further developed to secure a fair and just transition.

GREENRECOVERY has called for a global alliance of cross-party political decision-makers, business and financial leaders, trade unions, NGOs, think tankers, stakeholders, to support and implement the establishment of Green Recovery Investment Packages acting as accelerators of the transition towards climate neutrality and healthy ecosystems. The Foundation therefore commits to working with all of the GREENRECOVERY signatories, to share knowledge, exchange expertise, and create synergies to deliver the investment decisions we need.

Covid-19 will not make climate change and nature degradation go away. We will not win the fight against Covid-19 without a solid economic response. This call to mobilisation does not oppose those two battles, but will fight to win them both at the same time.

To find an up-to-date list of all signatories, please consult the Green Recovery Alliance Call to Action here.

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