EU countries urged to see ‘opportunity in climate change’

(EurActiv, 25 Jun 2019) Climate change should be seen as an opportunity rather than a threat but the tools at the EU’s disposal need to be changed to deal with the coming challenge, according to officials, MEPs and climate experts.

At a climate event on 18 June, ideas like scrapping fossil fuel subsidies, refreshing the mandates of financial institutions and implementing a future-proof industrial strategy were among the main talking points.

A few days before EU leaders failed to broker an agreement to go carbon neutral by 2050, panellists ranging from members of the EU institutions to green activists shared how they think Europe can deal with the effects of climate change and use it as an opportunity.

Green Party MEP Molly Scott-Cato said the main challenge is “changing mindsets and making citizens realise change can be positive”.

The British lawmaker added that “money is a social construct. It isn’t right to say we can’t afford to save ourselves. We should relax rules on government spending and not resign ourselves to this straight jacket.”

On 6 June, the European Commission unveiled a series of country-by-country recommendations that make suggestions on how to invest better in sustainable energy and transport systems. 

The audit includes increased spending on renewable energy capacity, improved rail links and more cross-border power links. The Commission followed its suggestions up last week with specific recommendations on how to meet climate targets for 2030.

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EurActiv, 25 Jun 2019: EU countries urged to see ‘opportunity in climate change’