Friday, April 16, 2010

A Green New Deal for Europe

The Green European Foundation (GEF) is the political foundation of the aisbl Green European Institute. It is one of the newly created political foundations on European level, and is funded on an annual basis by the European Parliament. GEF is publishing the Green New Deal series.
In the face of the current multiple crisis (financial, economic, social, environmental), the need for sustainable policies is self-evident. The Green New Deal is the integrated policy approach that Greens in Europe are putting forward as a solution to the crisis. The Towards Green Modernization in the face of Crisis report by the Wuppertal Institute analyzes in depth the climate, environment and energy aspects of this proposal.

Over the past year, billions of Euros have been spent in Europe, the US and other industrialised countries on so-called ‘recovery packages’ to overcome the economic crisis. However, these unprecedented amounts of public money could also be focused on fostering an ecological transformation of our economies, and not on safeguarding the economic patterns that brought about the crisis in the first place. Needless to say, this is no easy task. The present report by the Wuppertal Institute is meant to take stock of the current situation and identify the most suitable areas, the most effective instruments and the best practices for promoting this transformation.

Greening recovery packages

The report gives an overview of the “recovery packages” introduced by governments around the globe and reveals that the European Union is lagging behind the United States and Asia in terms of the Green share of those recovery plans. The authors show the economic and employment potential of a Green New Deal and that the EU has the possibility of leading the way.The report takes a pragmatic approach in the sense that it focuses primarily on how to ‘green’ immediate recovery activities in specific economic areas, and how to support the creation of framework conditions which initiate a dynamic for ecological modernisation and structural change. It also identifies key elements for the implementation of a Green New Deal.

Policy recommendations

The report ends with a series of recommendations that urge the European Union and its Member States to focus their programmes on investments that will kick-start a Green economy and provide sustainable ways out of the crisis.

Green New Deal series
The next volume of the series has also been published: Green New Deal and a European Response to the Crisis: towards ambitious macroeconomic governance of the EU

In this second volume, Francisco Padilla argues in favor of the idea of transforming the Stability and Growth Pact into a Sustainable Stability and Growth Pact.

In this recent article published by the Green European Foundation, the author argues that apart from the reforms of financial regulation that have already been announced, the European Union has to respond to the global crisis by pursuing a double objective. On the one hand, it should focus on economic reorganization, centered around eco-efficency and low carbon economy as engines of job creation. On the other hand, attention must be paid to the fight against unsustainable (public and private) debt and to the alarming increase in poverty rates, fostered in turn by wage deflation. The article maintains that only by focusing on these two conditions at the same time the European Union will be able to tackle the structural causes of systemic economic instability, exacerbated by the past 30 years of financial liberalisation.

This latter publication is so far only available in French on the GEF web page.

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