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Green New Deal

Green New Deal study exposes gap between EU rhetoric and reality

Today the European Parliament Greens presented the final report of their commissioned study examining recovery plans and financial instruments for a "green modernisation of Europe". The study (1), carried out by the renowned Wuppertal Institute, focuses on climate, environment and energy aspects of the Green New Deal.

Greens/EFA President Rebecca Harms and Greens/EFA Vice-President Claude Turmes commented:

"Europe urgently needs a Green New Deal: a truly sustainable economic recovery to respond to the current converging crises. Despite all the green talk in Europe, this new study exposes that the EU and its Member States are lagging behind. Others, including the US and certain Asian economies, are taking the lead in terms of delivering the necessary recovery plans to kick-start a green economy. The EU must seize the opportunity to tackle climate change, switch to a more sustainable development path and create green jobs.

Today Europe is at real risk of surrendering technological leadership in the global green sector to Asia and the US. It is therefore imperative that the next Spring Summit ensures the EU's Lisbon and sustainable development strategies are revised and combined in order to put resource efficiency and eco-innovation at the heart of the new European economy. Eco-innovation could be catalysed and made more visible through a new EU agency for resource efficiency. There are currently huge discrepancies in resource productivity among EU Member States. Resource efficiency must replace labour productivity as the leitmotiv. Investing in better efficiency and productivity of resources makes both environmental and business sense.

The EU has the financing mechanisms at its fingertips - it just needs to use them to better effect. Currently, the EU budget and financial instruments are too often directed towards damaging activities. The study recommends a 'triple helix' approach, where joint RTD (2), CIP (3) and regional development funds are combined effectively.

The Swedish EU Presidency has launched good debates around the eco-efficient economy. It must now ensure that words are backed by action on crucial matters such as pending legislation on energy efficient buildings and energy labelling of consumer products.

Commission President Barroso's proposed programme for the next five years contains green aspirations but lacks true green vision. His track record - notably on the 2005 reform of the Lisbon Agenda, where he downplayed the importance of the environment - disqualifies him as a credible contender to deliver the green modernisation that Europe requires."

Notes to editors

(1) 'A Green New Deal for Europe - towards green modernisation in the face of crisis' - Wuppertal Institute for climate, energy and the environment

Full report (EN)

Executive summary (EN)

(2) Research and Technology Development

(3) Competitiveness and Innovation framework Programme

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