Green economy  |  Publications  |  13.03.2013

The Green New Deal: A long-term, sustainable plan to help Europeans out of the crisis

This paper is an executive summary of the study entitled “Funding the Green New Deal: Building a green financial system” commissioned by the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament. It sets out the main arguments and sums up the main proposals of the study.

Since the financial crisis began in 2008, the European Greens have been advocating a Green New Deal. This can be summed up as a comprehensive economic and social transformation that enables our societies to deliver prosperity, social justice and well-being for all, within the physical limits of our planet. This requires investment in our infrastructure and our industries, in education and innovation, in social cohesion and in our environment. As we have seen over the period since 2008, there has been no let-up in the economic crisis. As a result, our Green approach is attracting more and more support as moving away from a carbon-based economy based on inequality and financial speculation is now widely regarded as being essential.

However, the tricky question as to how to fund the Green New Deal urgently needs to be addressed. That is precisely what this report, commissioned by the Greens/ EFA Group in the European Parliament, does. It examines how, despite the age of austerity in which Europeans are now living, it is possible to generate the level of investment needed to transform Europe’s economy and society.

The report, produced by the think tank Re-Define, details the level of investment that this requires. It says that an investment of 2% of the EU’s GDP per annum is needed to achieve a 30% reduction in CO2 by 2020. It proposes that the majority of this funding can come from private sources, with the state creating the incentives and support necessary to leverage this private sector investment. 

The report addresses many of the difficulties that hamper investment in the green economy, such as the underpricing of carbon emissions and high up-front costs. To resolve these problems, countries need to adopt a range of measures. At the heart of these measures lies the central aim of encouraging investment in sustainable and green industries. 

As Europe continues to come to terms with the consequences of the 2008 financial and economic crash, this publication provides a clear and comprehensive roadmap for an economy that works for the people and for the planet as a whole.

Text extracted from the introduction of the publication

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