Posted on 17 April 2020
With an overwhelming majority, the European Parliament voted to place the European Green Deal at the core of the upcoming EU recovery and reconstruction package “in order to kick-start the economy, improve its resilience and create jobs while at the same time assist in the ecological transition, foster sustainable economic and social development”.
The resolution also highlights the need to align responses with the EU’s objective of climate neutrality.
“MEPs today demonstrated vision and foresight, adding their voice to a growing chorus of NGOs, political and corporate leaders calling for a green and just recovery,” said Ester Asin, Director of the WWF European Policy Office. “Using this momentum to accelerate the ecological transition is in Europe’s best interest, not only for the future of our planet, but importantly for the sake of rebuilding our economy and the wellbeing of our society.”
Earlier on Thursday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had also confirmed that Europe must double down on investing in the European Green Deal, as climate change will not slow down, despite the global recovery.
“The European Commission must now head these calls and present an EU recovery and reconstruction package fully in line with the environmental, climate and just transition objectives of the European Green Deal. No support must be provided to companies in high-carbon and polluting sectors unless they demonstrate full alignment to these objectives,” concluded Ester Asin. “In parallel, the Commission must continue with strengthening and implementing the targets, strategies and laws as planned in the European Green Deal.”
An attempt by a number of MEPs from ECR, EPP and ID to use the current health crisis to drive their deregulation agenda - by weakening existing energy legislation and postponing new legal initiatives - was rejected in the plenary vote.
Notes to the editor
The amendment calling for the European Green Deal to be placed at the core of the EU’s recovery is part of the resolution on “EU coordinated action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences”; and the amendment was adopted on Thursday night by 527 votes in favour, 152 against and 13 abstentions.
The final vote on the resolution as a whole will take place later on Friday, and announced in the afternoon. Considering the joint motion for a resolution is backed by the four main political groups, EPP, Renew, S&D and Greens/EFA, it is likely to pass.
The EU recovery and reconstruction package is slated to be announced by the Commission later this month.