How can science help to guide the European Union’s green recovery after COVID-19?
The design of efforts by the European Union (EU) and its Member States to recover from COVID-19 will determine the quality of people’s lives for decades to come. Related to the EU’s plans for a green recovery, European Academies urge policymakers to recognise the critical role of science and to step up efforts in three key areas: energy, ecosystem and health.
Despite the disruption of almost all societal activities over the last couple of months, the emission reduction in 2020 is unlikely to reach the level of annual reductions required to meet the Paris Climate Agreement targets. This means energy systems have to be transformed completely to get away from reliance on combustion of carbon. But this is not the only concern of the scientists who have authored the Academies’ report. They refer to the vulnerability of dependence on global food systems, which calls for a strengthened sustainability of local and regional food supplies, while reducing agriculture’s climate impact. In addition, they point out the disconnect between health policy – often decided at a Member State level – and policies on energy, agriculture and environment that are often better harmonised at EU level. Drawing upon their previous work, the scientists remind the EU of its responsibility to take leadership and bolder action in these areas.
Edition / Volume: Commentary
Pages: 8 p.