Green transition will require ‘Herculean effort’, EU admits

(EurActiv, 5 Mar 2020) The European Union will need to “re-orient most, if not all” of its policies in order to protect vulnerable regions and workers in industries affected by the transition to a green economy, the EU Commission’s vice-president Frans Timmermans has said.

The European Commission tabled its much-awaited Climate Law on Wednesday (4 March), promising “predictability and transparency to industry and investors” as Europe embarks on a journey to cut global warming emissions to net-zero by 2050.

While some investor groups hailed the Commission’s move, Eastern EU countries and trade unions have expressed concerns about the costs of the transition, and the lack of finance to support the move to a net-zero economy.

Responding to those concerns, Frans Timmermans, the Commission’s executive vice-president in charge of the European Green Deal, again emphasised the EU’s commitment to a fair and just transition.

“Our commitment is that no-one will be left behind,” Timmermans insisted when asked about worries over the costs of the transition in countries like Poland, which relies on coal for almost 80% of its electricity.

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EurActiv, 5 Mar 2020: Green transition will require ‘Herculean effort’, EU admits