Europe

The Green Deal european the test of coronavirus


Milan sous la pollution, le 3 mars.
Milan under the pollution, the 3 march. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

LETTER FROM BRUSSELS

The Green Deal is no longer the number one priority of the european Commission. The fight against the devastating health and economic epidemic Covid-19 has been superseded. And, if no one is capable today of saying what will be left of this ambition in a few months, the next few weeks will be critical.

The work programme revisited as the community executive must publish the end of April, to take into account precisely harm the coronavirus, will be a first test greatness nature. But it is already a given that the Green Deal will not come out unscathed from this exercise.

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Of the pillars of what was the heart of the project of Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the Commission, are now in abeyance. Several areas – for biodiversity, for an agriculture that is more ecological, or against deforestation – are delayed.

The european executive is planning to push back the date at which it must propose new objectives for the reduction of emissions of CO2 by 2030. For the time being, it is still calling for the third quarter of 2020, but the report – for cause of a pandemic – 2021 of the COP26, originally scheduled in November in Glasgow (Scotland), may ” allow us to devote more time to an exercise of complex analysis “, one can read in a Commission document that revealed the agency Context Wednesday 15 April.

“Priorities have changed “

In reality, this choice will depend in part on the credibility of the Green Deal. The Twenty-seven – with the exception of Poland – are committed to a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve this, they must increase their ambitions for 2030. While it is, for the time being, provided that they reduce to this due to their emissions of CO2 by 40% compared to 1990, the Commission must decide whether it raises the rate to 50 % or 55 %.

Before the crisis, the fiscal year is already shaping up to be perilous. The industry lobbies were manoeuvring to convince Brussels to look after their customers. And some countries – especially in eastern Europe, but also Greece, Cyprus and Malta – do not hide their opposition to a reduction of emissions of CO2 in 2030 higher than expected. Germany, itself, did not appear very going.

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Moreover, Berlin has still not recovered to the Commission, the national energy-climate ” that it was supposed to make in January and in which it must detail the way in which it anticipates a decrease of 40% in its emissions by 2030… truth be told, Germany is not the only one dragging feet : Ireland, Luxembourg, Romania, and even France, which wants to be very involved in the success of the Green Deal, have not passed on their roadmap.

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