Our historic duty: A more resilient, inclusive and green recovery

(EurActiv, 22 May 2020) The COVID-19 pandemic has created the biggest economic and societal shock in generations. As we start to get a better grip on the health emergency, we need to undertake the immense task of rebuilding our economies and repairing the staggering damage to our communities, workers and businesses, write Frans Timmermans and Fatih Birol.

Frans Timmermans is the executive vice-president of the European Commission. Fatih Birol is the executive director of the International Energy Agency. EURACTIV is exclusively publishing the English version of this Op-Ed.

The coronavirus crisis erupted suddenly, catching many people off guard. But that cannot be said for the major climate and biodiversity challenges we face – the science has long made clear the need for greater and more urgent action.

As countries in Europe and beyond rebuild from today’s crisis, we should mend our economies and our planet at the same time. Our health and well-being depend on it. 

We need to make sure that we don’t come out of the lockdown and sleepwalk into a harmful “lock-in” of the obsolete, polluting technologies and outdated business models of the past century. If we are going to unleash trillions of euros for the recovery, let’s spend it right and invest in a clean, competitive, resilient and inclusive economy for the 21stcentury. 

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EurActiv, 22 May 2020: Our historic duty: A more resilient, inclusive and green recovery