Energy | Policy Brief
Greening the Covid-19 recovery in the European Union
16 July 2020
Highlights • The Covid-19 crisis and climate change are both serious issues, and combining them in a single policy is a serious challenge. • The Covid-19 crisis has been triggered by a virus outbreak and in Western countries has kept intact most of the supply-side capabilities and a large part of our consumption potential. • Climate change is quite the opposite. It is an increasing long- term threat which requires changing most of our supply-side fundamentals and consumption habits. • I will first focus on the immediate issue: after the Covid-19 crisis, what is the new normal for the energy sector? Then I will move on to discussing the feasibility of a ‘Greening Recovery,’ first looking at it as a general public policy issue and second as a very particular issue for the weak central authority that the EU has. • Having found the proposal to launch a common ‘EU Green Recovery’ policy credible, I will look at likely implementation challenges. I will address some aspects of the greening of the energy supply side, either with massive renewables or with a carbon-neutral hydrogen sector taking off. • I will then conclude that the feasibility of launching a European Green Recovery policy is not the only key condition for its success, as effective implementation also promises to be very challenging. This governance could be taken up by a new EU entity.
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