For the motion: Tadzio Müller, climate justice activist, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung
Against the motion: Franziska Brantner, MdB, Bündnis90/DieGrünen
Damien McGuinness, BBC
The European Commission has called the Green Deal, Europe’s “man on the moon” moment. But the stark reality is that it is impossible to solve the bio crisis without realigning both our neo-liberal framework and the existential threat of growth and consumption that is inherent to capitalism. True climate justice, which requires not only an agreed reduction in economic output but a radical redistribution of wealth and power, will never be served by this plan for preservation rather than transformation. Proposals like carbon trading and offsets have minimal positive environmental impact and are just fiddling while Rome literally burns. We are on a runway train to environmental and ecological collapse and the European Green Deal is nothing more than a colossal exercise in greenwashing.
Get off your eco-warrior horse, not only is the European Green Deal a once in a generation opportunity – it is the only chance we realistically have both to address climate change and the economic precipice on which the continent currently finds itself. Proposed measures in the Deal which include tougher emissions targets and increased support for biodiversity will also put Europe on track to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050. Moreover it can be used to counteract the economic crisis by restructuring the economy and building a carbon free infrastructure. What’s not to love about a plan that will rescue the economy and save the climate?!
This ECFR debate is part of the Rethink:Europe project, supported by Stiftung Mercator and was realised in partnership with Intelligence Squared Germany