In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, a clear majority of voices across Europe is calling out for an accelerated energy transition towards renewable energy sources. Different initiatives are asking European leaders to put the Green Deal at the heart of Europe’s economic response to the pandemic.
Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ireland recently joined 13 other countries in the call to keep the climate and ecological crises high on the political agenda when developing recovery plans to address the economic impacts of COVID-19. These voices now have a clear majority on EU-level and increase the considerable momentum behind the EU Green Deal.
“Governments around Europe should align their stimulus and recovery packages with the long-term vision of the EU Green Deal. And create a cleaner, healthier and more resilient Europe.” says WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson.
Yesterday, the International Renewable Energies Agency (IRENA) added to this call for decisive action with the publication of its “Global Renewables Outlook”. According to the new report, a global decarbonisation by 2050 would cost annual $4.3 trillion in investments. These investments would mainly be in renewable energy, electrification, infrastructure, and energy efficiency. The report is very clear that the payback for accelerating renewables deployment and efficiency measures is many times larger than the costs. Global decarbonisation would save up to $169 trillion in environmental and health costs. Just like the 17 EU Governments, IRENA calls for an accelerated energy transition, as the integral part of a wider COVID-19 recovery strategy.
This type of ambition is not unprecedented, Dickson says. “Thinking big in times of crisis pays off. Look at the Marshall Plan. Or the US New Deal. Big ideas, big economic impact. The Green Deal gives us the idea – climate-neutrality. And we have the tools – clean energy is cheap, it creates jobs. It just needs Governments to embrace the opportunity. It’s great that 17 out of 27 EU member states now support this, including several in central and Eastern Europe. That’s a clear mandate for the EU to pursue an ambitious green recovery.”
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Source: © 2020 WindEurope asbl/vzw