The limits of a ‘Green Deal’
Europe has launched its ‘Green Deal‘ recently, and also in the States, there is a proposition for ‘a green new deal’ on behalf of the Democrats. Both deals have a big number of points in common, but they also have important limits, some say.
Both plans want CO2-neutrality in 2050, the change to renewable energy, an increase in public funding, and a complete stop on subventions for fossil fuels. Most important for both is also the protection of the workers.
The big transition has to be fair for them, job loss has to be compensated, with money and new ‘green’ jobs. Looking back, this won’t be easy, and the governments will have to spend big to achieve a smoother transition than was the case with steel or textile some decades ago.
Both programs also have their limits. First, they confirm their belief in the ‘almighty’ technological progress. The electric car has to have a breakthrough, the price of solar and wind energy still has to diminish significantly, and there is an unanswered question mark about the limits of necessary minerals and rare earth metals.
Secondly, there is absolutely no attention or place for increased sobriety and the rupture in (big) spending. The western world should cut its exaggerated consumerism and productivism, some say.
In fact, neither of the two deals puts a question mark on unlimited growth. Don’t we have to substitute the fetishism of the gross domestic product for other important indicators like our CO2 imprint or public health?
“Don’t we have to rethink our relationship with nature entirely? More and more, we are pushed to rethink our fundamentals. What’s the new hierarchy, what do the authorities have to follow? In the long term, maybe that’s the real reconversion we will have to make, asks Dominique Meda in the French newspaper Le Monde.