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NextGenerationEU: Opportunity for a climate-neutral future of Europe?
27/01/2022

Benjamin Child / Unsplash
Benjamin Child / Unsplash

The NextGenerationEU recovery fund offers the EU the opportunity to invest in a green and sustainable future. Experts from politics, economy and science discussed how this unique opportunity can be used.

The NextGenerationEU recovery fund aims not only to cushion the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to drive the transformation of European economies. Used wisely, the funds can make a major contribution to the climate-neutral future of the EU. "NextGenerationEU enables many green investments, but the need is much higher to reach climate targets, especially after EU funding will end in 2026," said Michaela Holl, Senior Associate of EU Green Deal at Agora Energiewende

According to Lisa Badum, member of the German Bundestag for the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group, the biggest challenge lies in the implementation of the presented national recovery and resilience plans. All member states must be willing to actually invest the funds in the sustainable transformation of their economies. Moreover, it is not clear to what extent all member states have the capacity to absorb all available funds.

The share of green investments in the recovery fund is significantly higher than in COVID-19 stimulus packages in other parts of the world. According to Dr. Carsten Rolle, Head of Department for Energy and Climate Policy at the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the European Commission's taxonomy proposal should nevertheless be viewed critically: the Commission is derailing existing transformation paths, especially with regard to the use of hydrogen. This has the effect of discouraging investment.

The speakers discussed the issue at the digital Lunch Debate "Investment, but green: European reconstruction as a transformation accelerator". The IEP organised the event, which was moderated by Dr. Katrin Böttger, one of the two directors of the IEP, in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

You missed the event? The recording is now available on our Youtube channel:

Team & authors

About the Lunch Debates project: Experts from politics, administration and academia analyse the challenges and prospects of European integration and discuss them with the audience. The Lunch Debates are open to the public and thus promote the debate on European policy in Germany.

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