Publication | Beyond profit

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Some key ideas on how to reformulate the European Green Deal so that it promotes people’s well-being.

A few months before the 2024 European elections, it is still unclear how the EU will finance its climate agenda. Four years after the European Green Pact (EGP) was announced and the EU nearly doubled its budget with the creation of the €800 billion Next Generation EU funds to help member states respond to the economic effects of the pandemic, Europe’s environmental and recovery agenda is under threat. This is happening at a time when the climate and biodiversity crises are becoming increasingly urgent. 

On the one hand, strong economic interests are using their lobbying power to put the brakes on the European Green Deal. On the other hand, public support for the current environmental agenda is not strong enough to protect it. Although almost everyone agrees that the European Green Deal has to be fair, public opinion does not believe that the sustainable solutions of the current energy, transport, housing and employment policy agendas are affordable and accessible to everyone. 

Addressing the cost of living crisis is crucial to strengthen support for the climate agenda, given that low and middle income households spend up to 80% of their income on essential services such as housing, energy and food. These services are also key sectors in need of structural transformation to decarbonise and protect the environment. Finally, more political will is needed to mobilise the large amount of public investment needed for a just transformation that combines environmental protection with the protection of social rights and access to essential services. This is essential in view of the fact that the EU budget will be almost halved due to the termination of the Next Generation EU funds in a status quo situation. 

This document is part of the Citizens’ Observatory for Green Deal Financing project, funded by the European Union. Furthermore, the views and opinions expressed are those of the ODG and do not necessarily reflect those of the EU or the European Executive Agency for Culture and Education (EACEA). Neither the EU nor the EACEA can be held responsible. 

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