Calls to deepen EU’s commitment to Green Deal >> "Czech prime minister has seized on the coronavirus pandemic to try to sink the EU’s flagship European Green Deal"

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At the forefront, a growing chorus of voices is calling for the EU’s flagship initiative to be strengthened and used as a “greenprint” for the post-COVID-19 economy. Khaled Diab reports.

Andrej Babiš, the Czech prime minister and populist billionaire, has seized on the coronavirus pandemic to try to sink the EU’s flagship European Green Deal.

“Europe should forget about the Green Deal now and focus on the coronavirus instead,” he said. “Now that the epidemic is nearly over in China, the country is once again the biggest producer of medical material and the entire planet is going shopping in China… We really have a lot to learn from China.”

While Babiš is not alone in seeing the corona crisis as an opportunity to bash the Green Deal, more responsible leaders are already looking at how to restart the economy in a way that protects public health, safeguards people’s welfare and ensures a sustainable future for all.

Leading environmentalists are clear that the world’s first priority is to take on the Coronavirus and save lives, but that this can and must be done in conjunction with the European Green Deal. “COVID-19 is a public health emergency. Europe and the world must act quickly and decisively to save lives and to flatten the curve of this pandemic, while protecting people’s welfare and livelihoods,” said the European Environmental Bureau’s Secretary General Jeremy Wates.

This includes Europe taking up its duties as a responsible global citizen when it is needed. “While this is turning into a massive crisis for us, we are still in a privileged situation with social protections, good health systems,” says the EEB’s Director of Global Policies and Sustainability Patrizia Heidegger. “Poor countries are not so fortunate. There will be a greater need for global solidarity and partnership. ”



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