Green recovery after COVID-19: Last chance for V4 to climate transition?
(EurActiv, 27 Nov 2020) The recovery of European economies after the coronavirus pandemic may become – thanks to national recovery plans financed by the EU funds – a prelude to catching up with climate goals. Are the Visegrád countries ready to seize the opportunity?
The Visegrad Group countries – Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia – are not among the EU leaders in terms of climate policy. EU funding, including Next Generation EU and national recovery plans, offers an opportunity for change.
In the Czech Republic, 37% climate spending under the Next Generation fund is considered a burden rather than an opportunity to transform the economy. So far, the government has fought for the most flexibility possible when it comes to distributing EU funding. Now the government says it is ready to invest a large portion of cash from the EU recovery fund in green transition.
“We have allocated 40% to the green projects, we exceed the mandatory quota by 3%,” said Industry, Trade and Transport Minister Karel Havlíček, who is responsible for preparing the Czech recovery plan.
When it comes to fight against climate change, the Czech government wants to invest in sustainable mobility, including e-mobility or railway electrification, and energy efficiency, especially building renovations.