Industry  |  Publications  |  01.09.2011

The Industrial Dimension of the Green New Deal

This policy paper by the Greens/EFA GND working group provides a basis for discussion on the implications of the Green New Deal for the European Union’s industrial policy.

The EU is facing the immense challenge of providing future economic dynamic in the context of an increasing competition over scarce resources while simultaneously decarbonising its economy in order to combat climate change. This challenge is taking place under increasingly difficult circumstances. The financial and economic crisis has dried up bank lending, exhausted public coffers, and increased Europe’s unemployment rate. At the same time, the European Union (EU) has to deal with an increasing global competition from emerging players such as China, India and Brazil. Europe's industry is at the heart of many of these challenges.

First, the EU industry utilises an increasing amount of depleting resources. Although Europe's industrial efficiency has steadily improved, we continue to consume a growing amount of products and services which augments our overall resource consumption. Second, it significantly contributes to environmental degradation and climate change with the energy sector, industry (manufacturing and construction) and transport having been responsible for nearly 85 per cent of EU-27 CO2 emissions. Moreover, it is the workplace of a significant share of our workforce and is actively competing with other global regions.

A holistic approach for Europe's industry is needed that combines sustainability, competitiveness and decent work if we want to insulate our industries from today's challenges. The GND epitomises such an approach aiming to lower our carbon footprint, reduce poverty and environmental degradation while simultaneously reviving our economy, boosting employment as well as our quality of life.

Text taken from the introduction of the policy paper.

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flickr.com/creative commons Kristian Vinkenes