The coronavirus crisis will cripple our economies – there is no doubt about that. And it is clear that we need to have a clear route towards saving them. Citizens and business owners, big and small, depend on both national governments and the European Union on coming up with a solution. What people don’t need – is for that recovery to be slowed down by green ideology from the left.
The European institutions, who have still failed to negotiate a budget, are trying to shoehorn in their so-called ‘European Green Deal’ – an imitation raft of legislation mirroring those proposed by Greenpeace and the American Hard Left. The proposals are for a radical increase in state spending to promote green energy whilst instantly shutting off access to traditional forms of energy.
What they ignore is that it will take time for many countries to turn from oil, gas and coal to other sources of power. Industrial countries such as my own, and neighbouring Poland and Germany, would be crippled if we were told to switch off quickly all coal power stations without having economically reasonable and stable alternatives. Whilst countries such as France who already use 70% nuclear power, would be fine.
Such an energy transition would stall a nation’s economy at the best of time, instead, the green socialists in the European Union are determined to try and enforce their agenda on us at the worst of times. We already know that millions of jobs across the continent are at risk, so why put even more people in a vulnerable position by insisting on pushing through political points.
The EU has insisted that this scheme will create new jobs – but any new jobs that come from this programme will not directly replace the ones that are lost. History is shown that during times of great economic change, people are always left behind. On top of that, we will still face unemployment and many workers added uncertainty of how it will impact them.
The ambition of being ‘carbon neutral’ by 2050 is questionable, and proposed 2030 CO2 reduction target at 55% is totally unrealistic. President Von der Leyen claimed that Europe would take a leading role in the world but without having U.S., China, India or Brazil on the board, our continent achieves nothing to impact global warming. She insists that bilateral agreements with EU neighbours will be enough, but there is neither an incentive nor any guarantee that countries like Turkey or Russia would cooperate, let alone the countries of the Western Balkans.
Once again, we are seeing the European Commission give in to the unrealistic dreams of the “green business” lobby rather than securing a stable recovery for our people. They are using the crisis to push their own agenda. The same was true of the period after the Eurozone crisis, where instead of saving the economies of Southern Europe, the Commission set about pushing a federalist agenda demanding the creation of Eurobonds and an EU Finance minister.
What Europeans need now more than anything is the Commission to support the Member States in guaranteeing a stable recovery. The amount of money required for the Transition Fund needs to be increased in order to account for the total conversion that will have to take place in most of Europe. Equally, I believe that the priority should be on helping to support small businesses come out of this crisis without fear of being hit with new regulations that slow their growth. We need to create a sustainable and stable growth rather than one based on ideology.