EU Economy Must Bounce Forward Rather than Back after Covid-19, says WWF | WWF
EU Economy Must Bounce Forward Rather than Back after Covid-19, says WWF

Posted on 09 April 2020

Stimulus packages should aim for a sustainable, equitable and resilient recovery in line with the European Green Deal.
7 April 2020 - WWF is calling on the EU and its Member States to ensure that future economic stimulus plans are fully aligned with the objectives of the European Green Deal, and help accelerate Europe’s transition to a just and sustainable economy.

In its new position paper, Building Resilience: WWF Recommendations for a Just & Sustainable Recovery after Covid-19, WWF cautions that badly designed economic recovery plans risk exacerbating social inequalities and the environmental crisis. Instead, stimulus packages should aim for a sustainable, equitable and resilient recovery in line with the European Green Deal.
 
While the immediate priority must be to save lives and protect the most vulnerable, European leaders cannot afford to veer away from their agreed course of the European Green Deal. Climate change and nature loss continue to be very real threats - not just to our planet, but also to our economies and societies,” said Ester Asin, Director of the WWF European Policy Office. “Economic recovery and environmental action can and must go hand in hand, by channeling investments into future-proofing our economies and making them resilient in the long-term.”
 
WWF suggests a number of concrete measures to guide the allocation of public economic recovery investments. These recommendations include ensuring that at least half of the money is directed to environmentally sustainable activities, exclude support for environmentally harmful activities, deliver social benefits, strengthen existing environmental standards, and improve the overall environmental health of our societies.
 
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Central and Eastern European countries represent an immense opportunity for investment in long-term sustainable initiatives that can bring about the needed green job creation while bringing us closer to our climate and environmental goals. We see huge potential for large-scale initiatives, such as the decarbonisation of transport, the renovation of buildings to make them energy efficient, and building Green Infrastructure,” said Ana Maria Seman, Regional Policy Lead, WWF Central and Eastern Europe. “These sectors have waited a very long time for substantial investments from governments and the EU, and which can also stimulate employment growth. Unsustainable business models must be turned around rather than propped up. Moreover, we must make sure new investments help build social and community resilience by putting people at the heart.” 
 
The paper also includes broader policy propositions for strengthening and fully implementing the proposals of the European Green Deal, ending harmful subsidies (for example to fossil fuels and intensive agriculture), accelerating EU sustainable finance policies, and ensuring sustainable production and supply chains. Finally, it calls for the “toolbox” of new EU financing mechanisms to be structured and employed in line with the European Green Deal to ensure consistency.
 
Heeding these recommendations will leave Europe better equipped to tackle the ongoing climate and biodiversity emergencies, which, if left unchecked, will pose ever greater threats to our health, livelihoods and well-being,” concluded Ester Asin. “Failing that, there is a real risk that Europe will fall back to an outdated and destructive economic model rather than using this moment to ‘bounce forward’ towards a sustainable future for all.”
 
For more information:
Irene Lucius
Regional Conservation Director
WWF Central and Eastern Europe
ilucius@wwfcee.org
Tel: +43 1 52 45 470 19
 
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Rapid deployment of renewable energy sources must help decarbonisation across all sectors and create green jobs.
© stockphoto.com / WWF-Canada
Central and Eastern European countries represent an immense opportunity for investment in long-term sustainable initiatives that can bring about the needed green job creation while bringing us closer to our climate and environmental goals.
© Shutterstock / isak55 / WWF