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Green groups demand ‘green and just’ economic recovery plan from EU

A coalition of green groups including the WWF, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are lobbying the EU to sign off on a ‘green and just’ economic recovery plan that would see stimulus packages for polluting sectors conditional on environmental objectives.

Ahead of a leaders’ summit today (April 23) in Brussels, the joint appeal issued has been dubbed an ‘unprecedented show of unity by the green movement’ as they urge lawmakers to implement the environmental laws announced in the European Green Deal.

They argue that green investment policy will support and accelerate a just transition to a cleaner economy as Europe rebuilds post-coronavirus.

They also call on the European Investment Bank’s lending policies to be brought in line with the Green Deal’s objectives by the end of this year.

William Todts, executive director at Transport & Environment (T&E) said: ‘There’s a lot of lip service being paid to the idea of a green recovery plan. But talk is cheap. This is an unprecedented crisis and it will require an unprecedented response.

‘That means Eurobonds; green conditions on state aid; new regulations to give investment certainty to business. Now is the time to go all in. It may well be our only chance to exit the crisis greener, stronger and more united.’

Earlier this week, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said as the world looks to rebuild a battered economy, investing in renewable energy could boost global GDP by $98 trillion over the next 30 years.

The organisation published its Global Renewables Outlook, that looks at pathways towards renewable energy in 10 regions across the world.

The report examines building blocks of an energy system along with investment strategies and policy frameworks needed to manage the transition. It explores ways to cut global CO2 emissions by at least 70% by 2050.

It argues that in the coming years, a new perspective on deeper decarbonisation shows a path towards net-zero and zero emissions, particularly around green hydrogen and electrification in heavy industry.

According to the report, a sustained investment into green energy would also quadruple jobs in the sector to 42 million, expand employment in energy efficiency to 21 million and add 15 million in system flexibility.

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