With the coronavirus halting the economy, Europe is being called upon to speed up the transition of its energy system to renewable resources. Various initiatives are calling for the Green Deal to be seen as a cornerstone of the region’s economic response to the pandemic and the hardship it has caused.
A total of 17 countries – Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, France, Germany, Greece, Slovakia, Ireland, Slovenia and Malta – are calling for climate and environmental issues to remain high on the political agenda during this period, in preparation for the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the clear position of the majority of countries in the EU, which gives the Green Deal considerable strength.
“Governments across Europe should develop recovery and promotion measures aligned with the long-term vision set out in the EU Green Deal. This will help create a cleaner, healthier and more resilient Europe,” said Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope.
Although Lithuania has taken the initiative, together with seven other European Union (EU) Member States, to approach the European Commission and to suggest that priority attention should be paid to the renewable energy industry, not all Lithuanian politicians and diplomats agreed on this issue. According to experts from the Lithuanian Wind Power Association, although Lithuania has approved an ambitious National Energy Independence Strategy, which provides that 100 percent of necessary electricity will be produced from renewable energy sources by 2050, the country was not included in the abovementioned list.
For its part, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has estimated in a newly-published report that global decarbonisation will require a USD 4.3 trillion investment by 2050. This means the investment in renewable energy, electrification, the necessary infrastructure and energy efficiency.
The report makes it clear that the funds allocated to promote the implementation of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency solutions will definitely pay off. Global decarbonisation will save around EUR 169 trillion in environmental and health costs. That is why IRENA, like 17 EU governments, is calling for the faster implementation of changes in the energy system as part of the response to Covid-19.
The objectives set out in the Green Deal were also emphasised in a recent letter created by 31 organisations, uniting the European electricity, heating, cooling, building and transport sectors.