Beware of jobs vs. climate clash in virus aftermath, EU warned
(EurActiv, 15 May 2020) Governments in Europe and beyond should pay “utmost attention” to avoid a “jobs versus climate” confrontation in the recovery phase from the COVID-19 crisis, said Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has pledged to put the green and digital transitions at the heart of an EU recovery fund, which will be unveiled on Wednesday (20 May) as part of a revised EU budget proposal for the next seven years (2021-2027).
That is a step in the right direction, said Birol, who called the fund “a historic opportunity” to create jobs in clean technologies such as energy efficiency, renewables, lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen.
But he also warned of a “looming challenge” in the recovery phase from the corona crisis.
“We are going to see millions of people, in Europe and around the world, losing their jobs,” Birol told a EURACTIV online debate on Monday (11 May).
In the recovery phase, governments must avoid “a confrontation between the people who ask for jobs versus people asking for the climate to have an emphasis in the future plans,” Birol warned.