The Just Transition Fund (JTF) vote took place in the European Parliament. The European Climate Law and the Just Transition Fund are critical parts of the European Green Deal but will the proposed solutions be enough to tackle the ongoing climate crisis? Heinz Bierbaum comments:
“As the world tries to address multiple crises brought on by climate breakdown and COVID-19, this is an opportunity we can’t miss: we need to stick to ambitious goals if we want to make a serious change.
The European Commission proposed a 2030 target of 55% below 1990 levels, while previous Paris Climate Agreement called for a 65% emission reduction. In order to keep global temperatures in line with the 1.5 C warming goal set in Paris Agreement we need to take it serious and stick to it.
The European Parliament voted also to allow funding for fossil gas projects in the JTF, while in a vote earlier this year, EU countries voted to exclude all fossil fuels from the fund. Investments in fossil gas will cause further emissions and make it more difficult for carbon-intensive regions to become climate neutral. Those examples show that the Parliament is clearly two-faced on climate action. Therefore a question arises: will the watered down EU’s JTF still be effective?
The recovery policies rely a lot on corporate technological solutions like hydrogen and digital farming, while exploiting natural resources beyond ecological limits. The European Green New Deal is highly limited by the possibilities of capitalist economies. What the EU needs is a JTF which sets people’s wellbeing and a serious social-ecological transformation as its priority. We need a socialist and just Green New Deal, which focuses on people and climate – not just on profit. As an immediate measure we need more investment in public services and tax justice in order to build up welfare systems which are able to cope with the crisis.”