In recent months, proponents of more ambitious climate action have rallied behind the concept of a "Green New Deal" (GND) in the US – and the notion of a "European Green Deal" is now on the agenda in the EU. But what would such green deals imply? Originally, the concept recast President Franklin D. Roosevelt's famous response to the Great Depression (the "New Deal" of 1933-36) as a solution to both the climate crisis and economic inequality through the marriage of renewable energy and energy efficiency policies with major infrastructure projects as well as social and economic reforms.
In the United States, where the idea first gained more attention, it is represented by a pair of sweeping resolutions passed in the House of Representatives on 7 February 2019. However, the resolutions, which called for deep, economy-wide cuts in emissions by 2050 and unprecedented investment in renewable energy, were stopped cold in the Republican-controlled Senate. In Europe, incoming European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, has made climate policy a priority for her first 100 days in office and appointed Frans Timmermans as Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal – a position that previously did not exist. This has elevated the notion of a Green Deal, which continues to be rather vague, to new political heights – and requires now, that it be filled with life.
In this EFEX webinar Doug Sims, Director of Strategy and Finance at the Center for Market Innovation (Natural Resources Defense Council), and Quentin Genard, Head of the Brussels Office at E3G (Third Generation Environmentalism), discussed the existing and evolving concepts behind a "green deal" in the US and EU, identified differences and similarities and debated pros and cons. The discussion then shifted to policy details, more specifically the proposed funding mechanisms for a new deal in both the US and EU (or lack thereof). The webinar was moderated by Matthias Duwe, Head, Climate, at Ecologic Institute.
The Energy Future Exchange (EFEX) project is a joint initiative by Ecologic Institute Berlin, Ecologic Institute US and ACEEE funded in part by the EU Delegation to the US, with the goal of supporting and promoting transatlantic dialogue among civil society on issues vital to the EU-US relationship. More information can be found at energyfuturex.org and on Instagram @energyfuturex.