“The broad support for this statement clearly shows that Europe’s response to the COVID-19 crisis must put us firmly on the path to a truly sustainable, climate-neutral and just economy – for the sake of the environment, but also for building greater resilience of our societies and our economy,” said Ester Asin, director of the WWF’s European Policy Office, who is among the signatories.
Call for mobilisation
The coronavirus crisis is shaking the whole world, with devastating consequences across Europe.
We are being put to the test.
We are suffering and mourning our losses, and this crisis is testing the limits of our system.
It is also a test of our great European solidarity and of our institutions, which acted fast at the start of the crisis to deploy measures to protect us.
The crisis is still ongoing, but we will see the light at the end of the tunnel, and by fighting together, we will beat the virus.
Never have we faced such a challenging situation in peacetime.
The fight against the pandemic is our top priority and everything that is needed to stop it and eradicate the virus must be done.
We welcome and strongly support all the actions developed by governments, EU institutions, local authorities, scientists, medical staff, volunteers, citizens and economic actors.
In this tremendously difficult situation, we are also facing another crisis: a shock to our economy tougher than the 2008 crisis.
The major shock to the economy and workers created by the pandemic calls for a strong coordinated economic response.
We therefore welcome the declaration of European leaders stating that they will do “whatever it takes” to tackle the social and economic consequences of this crisis.
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.
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.
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 10 years, tremendous progress has been made in most transition sectors, developing new technologies and value chain, and dramatically reducing the cost of the transition (including inter alia: renewable energy, zero emission mobility, agroecology, energy efficiency…). 10 years ago, zero-emission vehicles were only a prototype. 10 years ago, wind energy was three times more expensive than it is today, and solar energy seven times. 10 years ago, we had not carried out renovation work on buildings showing that this action is profitable.
Political will is here.
We already have the plans and strategy. 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.
We also acknowledge that 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 still can be further, developed to secure a fair and just transition.
We call on 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.
We therefore commit to working together, sharing knowledge, exchanging expertise and creating 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.
Let’s not oppose those two battles, but let’s fight and win them at the same time. By doing so, we will only be stronger together.
Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO, L’Oréal; Alviina Alametsa, MEP, Greens/ EFA; Enzo Amendola, Italian Minister for European Affairs; Eric Andrieu, MEP, Vice-President of the S&D Group; Wolfgang Anzengruber, CEO Verbund; Ester Asin, Director of WWF European Policy Office; Margrete Auken, MEP, Greens/ EFA; Elisabeth Ayrault, Chairwoman and CEO, CNR, Board Vice-Chair, SNCF; Fabrice Barthélémy CEO Tarkett; Philippe Bastien, President of Glass Europe; Julie Beaufils, Secretary General of EuropeOn, Laurent Berger,
ETUC President; Marcel Bial, Secretary General of European Solar Thermal Electricity Association; Stéphane Bijoux, MEP, Renew Europe; Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, MEP, Renew Europe; Michael Bloss, MEP, Greens/ EFA; Per Bolund, Swedish Minister for Financial Markets and Housing; Simona Bonafe, MEP, Vice-President of the S&D Group; Anna Lisa Boni, Secretary General of Eurocities; Elisabeth Borne, French Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Biljana Borzan, Vice-President of the S&D Group at the European Parliament; Gilles Boyer, MEP, Quaestor and Member of the Bureau for Renew Europe; Tim Brett, President The Coca Cola Company’s Western Europe Business Unit; Jesper Brodin, CEO INGKA group – Ikea; Sylvie Brunet, MEP, Vice- President of the Renew Europe Group Ariel Brunner, Birdlife; Klaus Buchner, MEP, Greens/ EFA; Delara Buckhardt, MEP, S&D; Bertrand Camus, CEO Suez group; Pascal Canfin, MEP, Chair of the Environment Committee, Renew Europe; Ignazio Capuano, Chairman of Cepi (Confederation of European Paper Industries); Anna Cavazzini, MEP, Greens/ EFA; Catherine Chabaud, MEP, Renew Europe; Mohamed Chahim, MEP, S&D; Olivier Chastel, MEP, Renew Europe; Niels B. Christiansen, CEO The LEGO Group; Ilana Cicurel, MEP, Renew Europe; Dacian Ciolos, MEP, President of Renew Europe; Sergio Costa, Italian Minister of the Environment; Katalin Cseh, MEP, Vice-President of Renew Europe; Miriam Dalli, MEP, Vice-President of the S&D Group; Johan Danielsson, MEP, Coordinator in the Transport Committee, S&D; Paolo De Castro, MEP, Coordinator in the Agriculture Committee, S&D; Pierre-André de Chalendar, CEO, Saint Gobain; Petra de Sutter, MEP, Chair of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, Greens/EFA; Dimitri de Vreeze, Co-CEO and Member of the Managing Board of Royal DSM; Pascal Demurger, CEO of MAIF; Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg Minister of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development; Gilles Disckson, CEO of Wind Europe; Sandrine Dixson Declève, Club of Rome; Pascal Durand, MEP, Renew Europe; Bas Eickhout, MEP, Vice-President & Coordinator in the Environment Committee, Greens/EFA; Ismail Ertug, MEP, Vice-President of the S&D Group; Emmanuel Faber, CEO, Danone; Laurence Farreng, MEP, Renew Europe; Franz Fayot, Luxembourg Minister of Economy, Cooperation and humanitarian Aid; Fredrik Federley, MEP, Vice-President of Renew Europe; Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes, Portuguese Minister of the Environment and Energy Transition; Jonas Fernandez Alvarez, MEP, Coordinator in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, S&D; Martin Forsen, President of EHPA; Monica Frassoni, President of European Alliance to Save Energy; Helen Fritzon, MEP, Vice-President of the S&D Group; Ignacio Galán, Chairman and CEO Iberdrola; Iratxe Garcia Pérez, MEP, President of the S&D Group; Leonore Gewessler, Austrian Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology; Michel Giannuzzi, CEO Verallia; Sven Giegold, MEP, Greens/ EFA; Seth Ginther, Executive Director of USIPA; Sandro Gozi, MEP, Renew Europe; Patrick Graichen, Director Agora Energiewende; Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg Minister for Finance; Christophe Grudler, MEP, Renew Europe; Marc Grynberg, CEO at Umicore; Bernard Guetta, MEP, Renew Europe; Jytte Guteland, MEP, Coordinator in the Environment Committee, S&D; Lars Hanseid, CEO 3M EMEA; Bjorn Haugland, CEO of Skift Business Climate Leaders; Martin Häusling, MEP, Greens/ EFA; Valérie Hayer, MEP, Renew Europe; Eero Heinaluoma, MEP, S&D; Helena Helmersson, CEO H&M Group; Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO at Solar Power Europe; Christel Heydemann, CEO, Schneider Electric France; Martin Hojsik, MEP, Renew Europe; Pär Holmgren, MEP, Greens/EFA; Peter Hug, Managing Director of European Building Automation and Control Association; Sophie In’t Veld, MEP, Renew Europe; Yannick Jadot, MEP, Greens/EFA; Agnes Jongerius, MEP, Coordinator in the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, S&D; Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever; Dan Jorgensen, Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities; Jean-Marc Jossart, Secretary General at Bioenergy Europe; Adrian Joyce, Secretary General of the European Alliance of Company for Energy Efficiency in Buildings; Radan Kanev, MEP, EPP; Pierre Karleskind, MEP, President of the Fisheries Committee, Renew Europe; Fabienne Keller, MEP, Renew Europe; Ska Keller, MEP, Co-President of the of the Greens/EFA; John Keppler, CEO Enviva; Jouni Keronen, CEO of Climate Leadership Coalition; Werner Kogler, Vice-chancellor of Austria; Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, MEP, S&D; Philippe Lamberts, MEP Co-President of the of the Greens/EFA; Pascal Lamy, Honorary President of the Jacques Delors Institute; Benoit Leguet, Managing Director of I4CE; Nathalie Loiseau, MEP, Chair of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence, Renew Europe; Torbjörn Lööf, CEO Inter IKEA Group; Isabella Lövin, Swedish Minister for Environment and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister; Martin Lundstedt, CEO Volvo Group; Geraldine Matchett, Co-CEO and Member of the Managing Board of Royal DSM; Karen Melchior, MEP, Renew Europe; Dr Maria Mendiluce, Interim CEO at We Mean Business; Tilly Metz, MEP, Greens/ EFA; António Mexia, CEO EDP; Iskra Mihaylova, MEP, Vice-President of Renew Europe; Krista Mikkonen, Finnish Minister for Environment and Climate; Nick Molho, Executive Director of Aldersgate group; Sabine Nallinger, Managing Director of Foundation 2° – German CEOs for Climate Protection; Emma Navarro, Vice-president of the European Investment Bank; Dan Nica, MEP, Coordinator in the Industry Committee, S&D; Dr. Kai Niebert, President Deutscher Naturschutzring; Ville Niinistö, MEP, Greens/ EFA; Grace O’Sullivan, MEP, Greens/ EFA; Mari Pantsar, Director of SITRA; Jutta Paulus, MEP, Greens/ EFA; Diego Pavia, CEO InnoEnergy; Thierry Pech, Managing Director, Terra Nova; Arturo Pérez de Lucia, Director General AEDIVE; Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, MEP, Greens/ EFA; Morten Petersen, MEP, Vice-Chair of the Industry Committee, Renew Europe; Sirpa Pietikainen MEP, EPP; Kati Piri, MEP, Vice-President of the S&D Group; Rovana Plumb, MEP, Vice-President of the S&D Group; Brune Poirson, French Secretary of State, attached to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition; Paul Polman, Former CEO Unilever; Silviu Popovici, CEO PepsciCo Europe; Teresa Ribera, Vice President of the Spanish Government – Minister for the Ecological Transition and Demographic challenge; Dominique Riquet, MEP, Vice-President of Renew Europe; Michèle Rivasi, MEP, Greens/ EFA; Soraya Rodriguez Ramos, MEP, Renew Europe; Federica Sabbati, Secretary General of European Heating Industry; Mark Schneider, CEO Nestlé; Svenja Schulze, German Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety; Stéphane Séjourné, MEP, Renew Europe; Brad Smith, President of Microsoft; Jean-Dominique Senard, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Renault group; Sylwia Spurek , MEP, S&D; Francisco Starace, CEO ENEL; Markus Steilemann, CEO Covestro; Ana Struna Bregar, CEO of Center of Energy Efficient Solutions; Jan Te Bos, Director General of the European Insulation Manufacturers Association; Steven Tebbe, Managing Director of CDP Europe; Dr Johannes Teyssen, CEO, E.ON SE; Frauke Thies, Executive Director of SmartEn; William Todts, Executive Director of Transport & Environment; Irène Tolleret, MEP, Renew Europe; Nils Torvalds, MEP, Coordinator in the Environment Committee, Renew Europe; Costas Travasaros, President of Solar Heat Europe; Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, MEP, Renew Europe; Trio Wendel, Director of CAN Europe; Laurence Tubiana, President of the European Climate Foundation; Claude Turmes, Luxembourg Minister for Energy and Spatial planning; Frank van der Vloed, CEO Signify Europe; Peter Vanacker, CEO Neste; Philippe Vangeel, Secretary General of AVERE; Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, MEP, Renew Europe; Jean- Marc Vilon, Chairman of Association Française des Sociétés financières; Juan Virgilio Marquez, Associacion Eolica Espanola; Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary; Ludovic Voet, ETUC Confederal Secretary; Andrea Voigt, Director General of European Partnership for Energy and Environment; Emmanuelle Wargon, French Secretary of State, attached to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition; Jason W arner, Zone President – Europe, Anheuser-Busch InBev; Jeremy Wates, Secretary General of the European Environmental Bureau; Claire Waysand, interim Chief Executive Officer of ENGIE; Pernille Weiss, MEP, EPP; Eliot Whittington, Director of Corporate Leaders Group; Sarah Wiener, MEP, Greens/ EFA; Michal Wiezik, MEP, EPP; Tiemo Wolken, MEP, S&D; Stephanie Yon Courtin, MEP, Renew Europe; Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, MEP, Renew Europe; Carlos Zorrinho, MEP, S&D.
Published on euractiv.com
The “green” / “sustainable” movement is starting to look suspiciously elitarian.
It’s becoming a “corporatistic” bandwagon pushed by the establishment.
They rubber stamp these “papers” with the signatures of big CEOs ….. and they’ll cascade this down onto the population.
The truth is that these companies are afraid to be left aside the popular sustainable movement that is raising, so they try to control it.
The EU institutions are choosing the wrong side of the gamble as usual … ignoring that their roof is on fire. Brexit was the first warning shot.