A long-term vision for a climate neutral EU can jumpstart a faltering European economy

(EurActiv, 1 Mar 2019) Top business leaders believe that the transition to a climate neutral economy will create new opportunities for Europe. As EU energy and environment ministers meet in the coming days, they must realise this and adopt policies for the long-term, writes Eliot Whittington.

Eliot Whittington is director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, au business organisation.

A climate of uncertainty is unsettling European economies of late. As the UK’s departure from the EU looms, anxiety over a chaotic exit has had a chilling effect, with investors abandoning European stocks at the fastest rate since the UK’s referendum.

And with Germany on the brink of a recession, Italy facing a mounting debt crisis and European elections around the corner, we are entering a crucial moment for the long-term prosperity of the single market.

But in these unstable times, European leaders must face up to the challenge and take action to set the bloc on track to a future of improved global competitiveness.

And that means not just charting a path through the immediacies of political and economic upheaval, but also recognising that mid- to long-term success absolutely depends on markets’ abilities to limit and survive environmental changes.

By setting out clear climate pledges and actions, the EU can give businesses a degree of certainty and confidence needed to prepare for the next three decades to 2050.

As ministers meet at EU environment and energy councils in the coming days before a European Council meeting on 20 March, the European Commission’s long-term climate neutral vision, “A Clean Planet for All”, will be high on the agenda.

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EurActiv, 1 Mar 2019: A long-term vision for a climate neutral EU can jumpstart a faltering European economy