The Covid-19 pandemic and its immediate health, social and economic impacts require an urgent response. Beyond this, however, public stimulus packages to relaunch the economy are already being developed, requiring crucial decisions on where these substantial financial flows should be directed or through which channels and vehicles, in order to bring most benefits.
Badly designed recovery plans in response to the Covid-19 outbreak risk exacerbating the social inequalities and environmental crisis. Instead, governments must draw up their plans in a way that helps tackle social inequalities, climate and environmental breakdown, and the need to improve long-term resilience, by taking a consistent approach across the board, and aiming clearly at a green, equitable and resilient recovery.
WWF is calling on the European Union and its governments to demonstrate leadership and foresight by continuing to follow, and reinforcing, a trajectory towards a resilient, sustainable and just economy and society, in line with the European Green Deal, the Paris climate agreement, biodiversity goals and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The European Green Deal as set out by the European Commission provides policy-makers with the fundamental principles that must guide the recovery of Europe’s economies. It does so by setting out a strategy which aims to “transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use.” This vision, building on the successful, just and inclusive transition at its very heart, describes what must become Europe’s new normal. It will help ensure Europe’s long-term resilience and prosperity, for the benefit of people and nature within and outside the EU.
This paper lays out the recommendations of the WWF European network to policy-makers at EU and national levels to ensure sustainable recovery plans after the Covid-19 crisis in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal, as well as broader policy recommendations for the long-term sustainable and just transition of our economies. It also suggests concrete financial tools to be used at EU level. To read the full report, refer to the WWF website.