Can the European Green Deal work?

The European Green Deal is intended to form the core of the EU's coronavirus recovery package. The EU Commission has also set up the 'New European Bauhaus' initiative, which is to combine design with sustainability, barrier-free access and investment. Meanwhile talks on the EU Climate Law, which is due to be passed this spring, are faltering. Faced with this constellation, Europe's commentaries reflect a sense of unease.

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El País (ES) /

Don't miss this boat

The EU now has a unique opportunity to catch up internationally, says El País:

“In the digital race, the 27 member states are lagging far behind the US and China. But in the green race they are competitive. Eight of the top ten clean energy companies are European. The continent can't miss this boat. Energy autonomy, the creation of many jobs and control of a technology of global importance are at stake. Moreover, the EU's green leadership could help to underpin its role as moral reference - an intangible but relevant asset.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Poland must make the switch

Poland must switch from coal to renewable energies as soon as possible, Rzeczpospolita urges:

“We are on a collision course, but we still have time to avoid the crash. If we don't, we risk an economic catastrophe. Rising energy prices will bring down Polish companies that are already struggling because of all the lockdowns. Consequently, the reconstruction plan and the Polish New Deal must focus on green technologies. Otherwise the Polish economy won't be able to benefit much from EU funds. Because those who bet on 'green' can get more money at the moment.”

Hürriyet Daily News (TR) /

Fix global inequalities first

Hürriyet Daily News calls for financial support for weaker countries:

“In countries like Turkey, where there are highly indebted companies, troubled bank balance sheets and high CDS risk premiums, starting a green transformation is like shopping at Whole Foods while debt collectors are carting away your fridge. If the West is serious about evening out global inequalities (especially going into Covid-19 recovery) then the debt and high-risk premiums of 'the rest' should be considered a global problem. To stop global warming, the world needs to find a truly global financial plan. This means that environmentalists need to think less about electric cars and more about balance sheets in middle-to-low income countries.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

We can only succeed together

The Green Deal must include everyone in the EU, Rzeczpospolita warns:

“Ursula von der Leyen's idea must not apply just to a select few or the elite. Walter Gropius, the ideologue behind Bauhaus, argued that his school was to serve the people. It was to be universal. So this dream must not be realised by excluding others. The new Bauhaus must be designed by all the countries of the EU. Also by Poland, an EU country with a vital industry and craftsmanship sector.”

The Spectator (GB) /

On a collision course with Biden

The EU's plans will continue to strain relations with the US, The Spectator warns:

“President Biden's big idea is for a green energy plan to dominate renewable and clean power. ... But the EU is embarked on precisely the same agenda, with the bulk of its €750 billion (£650 billion) Coronavirus Rescue Fund aimed at exactly the same objective. You can't have two global leaders in green energy. In reality, the conflict to dominate that industry will end up splitting the two sides even further.”