Over a million citizens call for green COVID-19 recovery

14th May 2020

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More than one million citizens have joined forces with 100 environmental NGOs to urge the EU to launch the biggest green investment package the world has ever seen in response to the coronavirus crisis.

That is according to the Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, which said that 1.2 million people have joined campaigns at avaaz, WeMove Europe, and SumOfUs, supporting the call for a bold, green recovery in Europe.

Moreover, the Green 10 coalition of environmental organisations has launched an appeal urging lawmakers to invest hundreds of billions into home renovations, scaling up renewable energy, restoring natural habitats, boosting public transport and zero-emission mobility, and greening agriculture.

This comes as MEPs prepare to decide tomorrow what they want in the EU's Recovery Fund and seven-year budget, ahead of the European Commission's much-awaited proposal next week.

The COVID-19 crisis teaches us that prevention is better than cure,“ said CAN Europe director Wendel Trio. “Acting to prevent dangerous climate change is the best way to get Europe and the world out of this economic crisis in a way that protects citizens and economies from future disruptions.“

The environmental groups have stressed that all recovery plans must put people's wellbeing at the heart of the crisis response, deliver social benefits and protect workers' rights through a “just transition for all“.

The NGOs and petitioners warn against EU and national governments bailing out polluting industries involved in sectors such as gas, oil and coal, chemicals, cars and airlines and said that any stimulus investments must be conditional on companies' alignment with social, environmental and climate objectives.

They also urged the EU to improve the environmental safeguards of the next budget, and dedicate at least 50% to climate and the environment, excluding all fossil fuel subsidies.

“An ambitious climate policy is a guarantee that the stimulus package will have the most value for its money,“ Trio continued. “For the next EU budget that means no support to fossil fuels and spending plans that serve the transition to climate neutrality.

Image credit: iStock

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