Economic stimulus packages should benefit people and planet
The COVID-19 pandemic has demanded swift and unprecedented action from governments worldwide. The depth and severity of the crisis, and the scope of the response, has seen the need for billions of euros of public investment and has seen rapid financial support from governments across the globe.
Upon navigating such unprecedented times, we should, however, keep in mind that choices being made right now will shape our society for years, if not decades to come.
It is important that money granted to alleviate the impact of the corona crisis is used also to work on avoidance of future crises and on building a more resilient society. This money should in no way been used to bail out climate-wrecking industries or technologies of the past.
COVID-19 has forced the world into an economic pause. Now, we have the power to use this opportunity to restart our economy with a focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy across all sectors. Such investments are both labour-rich and shovel-ready.
In light of the ongoing discussions, EKOenergy joined the #Eugreenrecovery initiative of WindEurope, SolarPower Europe, the European Heat Pump Association and many others (LINK) The #EUgreenrecovery coalition calls upon decision makers to:
- fully integrate the promised economic stimulus packages in the Green Deal. Investments in a zero-carbon infrastructure and innovative solutions are the best and most cost-effective route to economic recovery on a national and supranational level while at the same time preparing the grounds for a secure and sustainable energy system.
- Use the stimulus packages to accelerate investments in energy efficiency, renewable heating and cooling, electricity, mobility, zero-carbon buildings, and industrial processes.
- Ensure that an ongoing supply of clean energy and ongoing investments in the energy transition can continue in the current pandemic under the classification of essential services.
EKOenergy is also supporter of the #NoBigOilBailout campaign of Oil Change International and other NGOs. This campaign has very similar claims as the #EUgreenrecovery initative, stating the need for public investments to rebuild our infrastructure, expand wind and solar power, weatherize our buildings, build and repair public housing and manufacture more clean energy goods.
In addition, Oil Change’s campaign also focuses on the social aspects of the economic transition, on equity and solidarity. Together, we ask to strengthen the social safety net, vastly increase food aid programs, extend housing assistance, Any financial assistance directed at specific industries must be channelled to workers, not shareholders or corporate executives.
Last not least, the campaign also stresses the importance of natural climate solutions. E.g. we want money to be used to restore our wetlands and forests and support regenerative agriculture.
We are living interesting times. However difficult the situation is, let’s not waste this crisis but let’s use it to work on a more sustainable and fairer society instead.
Text published on 15 April 2020