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17 of 27 EU Countries Link Pandemic Recovery to European Green Deal

Nearly two-thirds of the countries in the European Union have signed on to an appeal to put the European Green Deal at the heart of the continent’s post-pandemic recovery, after Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Malta joined the crowd last week.

Climate Home News published the original letter on 9 April, when it was signed by representatives of 10 governments. France, Germany, and Greece joined in the next two days and the latest round raises the total to 17,” the UK-based publication reports. “The ministers urge Europe to remember the challenges of climate change when designing long-term strategies for a resilient recovery from the ‘unprecedented crisis’ of the pandemic, which has killed more than 165,000 people worldwide.”

“The focus is [currently] on fighting the pandemic and its immediate consequences,” the letter states. “We should, however, begin to prepare ourselves to rebuild our economy and to introduce the necessary recovery plans to bring renewed, sustainable progress and prosperity back to Europe and its citizens.”

And “while doing so, we must not lose sight of the persisting climate and ecological crisis. Building momentum to fight this battle has to stay high on the political agenda.”

The letter adds that the Green Deal, a blueprint for reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, “provides us with a roadmap to make the right choices in responding to the economic crisis while transforming Europe into a sustainable and climate-neutral economy.”

Climate Home lists Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden as the original 10 signatories. Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania have yet to get with the program.