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Monarch explores the promise of a green energy transition after COVID-19 and how the EU are replacing China and the US on the sustainability world stage.

Investing in tomorrow

The EU commission, last week, declared its allegiance to smart and sustainable investment after COVID-19 with the announcement of a €750 billion green recovery plan. The plan is designed to foster economic growth after the coronavirus pandemic whilst abiding by the EU’s climate targets for 2050.

The proposed strategy would allocate €91 billion a year for building renovations, hoping to attract another €350 billion in private investment. This is not an outlandish possibility given that  German energy giant E.On recently announced they would be investing an additional €500 million in efforts to accelerate the energy transition. 

€1 billion will be reserved for the development, research and production of green hydrogen while another €60 billion has been suggested for zero-emission trains as well as stimulus for the electric car industry.

Should the plan go ahead, with the blessing of the 27 national parliaments and their respective leaders, the EU could emerge as the major leader in the green economic transition demanded by encroaching climate change.

Watch the throne

The EU, with this latest move, looks to be leaving the shadows of China and the US in the context of industrial sustainability after COVID-19. Despite China being the world’s leader in solar energy production, the nation approved more coal-fired power plants this spring alone than in all of 2019. Meanwhile, President Trump has stated a clear intention to do whatever it takes to keep US oil & gas interests soluble during the crisis and “…long into the future!”.

Compare this with the words of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and it becomes clear which has the greater interest in leading a green recovery post-COVID-19:

“The recovery plan turns the immense challenge we face into an opportunity, not only by supporting the recovery but also by investing in our future: the European Green Deal and digitalisation will boost jobs and growth, the resilience of our societies and the health of our environment. This is Europe’s moment.”

Germany’s renewable energy federation,  Bundesverband Erneuerbare Energie (BEE), is responding to the dramatic changes that COVID-19 has provoked with an ambitious but practical approach. 

BEE president, Simone Peter had this to say:

“The age of coal power generation is over. We cannot allow it to flare up again briefly after the COVID-19 crisis… Decentralised, flexible capacities are therefore required to flank the fluctuating renewable sun and wind that need to be expanded.” 

Monarch have championed sustainable business practices for over 30 years, providing savings and advice to clients across 75,000 sites in the UK. The EU’s green trajectory means a likely introduction of new climate-friendly legislation to incentivise businesses to contribute to the climate effort and Monarch can help you stay ahead of the game. Full details of our sustainability and compliance offerings can be found on our website.

 

Josh Ellison

Author Josh Ellison

More posts by Josh Ellison

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