Green shoots of recovery in the EU: Could the post-Covid 19 recovery package accelerate the EU’s energy transition?
As Europe navigates the twin crises of Covid-19 and a severe economic downturn, attention is beginning to turn towards the recovery. To that end, the European Commission (EC) has announced a €750 bn Covid-19 recovery package with a distinctly green tinge. Investment is to be focused on the EC’s two flagship initiatives: the green and digital transitions. The first clearly has implications for Europe’s energy sector and builds on the EU’s Green Deal, announced in December 2019. The plan will focus investment on decarbonising buildings across the EU, supporting growth in renewable power and accelerating investment into green hydrogen and clean transportation. Support for the fossil fuel sector is notable in its absence. But, it's not a done deal. The EC will have a tough job getting the package passed as proposed by all 27 Member States. Some will be reluctant due to the sheer scale of borrowing proposed; others have balked at the pace of decarbonisation proposed by the Green Deal.