A Green New Deal for Europe
Europe needs a
new direction. The financial crisis and credit crunch have brought the
failings of current economic and social policies sharply into focus. They have
exposed a wider systemic failure. The world is facing a serious and fundamental
resource crunch that will impact on every aspect of our lives, from the food we
eat to the energy we use. We are also at risk of running out of time to prevent
a full-blown climate crisis.
should be seen as an opportunity to transform our economic and social system
into one that will offer generations-to-come a future based on stability,
sufficiency and sustainability.
social, economic and environmental challenges that transcend borders. As the
financial crisis once again demonstrated, only by cooperating - at European and
global level - can we rise above these challenges. This requires a European
Union acting strongly for the future of all its citizens and residents. The
Greens want to build solutions for a sustainable future.
Rising to the
challenges brings real opportunities. Shifting to a greener economy and combating
climate change will boost employment and make us more self-sufficient, reducing
our damaging reliance on energy imports. A more sustainable approach to our
agricultural, marine and energy resources is crucial at a time when energy and
food prices are hitting low and middle income people hard.
The Greens want
a responsible Europe. The European Union should defend social systems and labour
conditions from the pressures of fierce and unfettered competition, both within
Europe and beyond. Economic interests must not come at the expense of human and
civil rights. The European Union must listen and be accountable to its citizens
and residents, while championing peace, democracy and human rights around the world.
neoliberal ideology in Europe has established a system where the interests of
the few come before the general well-being of its citizens. They have put the
profits of polluting industries ahead of the environment and public health. The
mantra of competitiveness and growth has been used to lower social standards
and labour conditions. The neoliberal majority in the European Parliament, the
Council and the European Commission is guilty of bowing to the demands of
industry lobbies, putting short-term profits before the general interest. The
Greens offer a real alternative for Europe.
The Green New
Deal means: a Europe of solidarity that can guarantee its citizens a good
quality of life based on economic, social and environmental sustainability; a
truly democratic Europe that acts for its citizens and not just narrow
industry interests; a Europe that acts for a green future.
A real alternative for Europe: securing
our energy and environmental future
We need a
resource revolution to shift from our present course of over-exploitation and
environmental destruction. If we continue to ravage our finite natural
resources, we will need two planets to sustain our lifestyles within 25 years.
This course is not just economically unsustainable, it seriously threatens our
climate, ecosystems and biodiversity.
usual is not an option. The impact of a resource crunch and dangerous climate change
would dwarf that of any financial and economic crisis. Thankfully, most of the
solutions are already at hand. The current economic slowdown is an opportunity
to transform our system, so that we can avoid the extremes of the resource and
climate crises, and secure a good quality of life.
If we are to
avoid dangerous climate change, we need to seriously reduce our greenhouse gas
emissions. The Greens want the EU to commit to emissions reductions of 40% by
2020 and 80-95% by 2050, based on 1990 levels, in line with the current
recommendations of the UN IPCC. Europe must also play a leading role in forging
a binding international climate agreement under the UN framework based on the
latest updated science. This agreement must commit industrialised countries to
the necessary emissions reductions, as well as recognising their responsibility
to support mitigation and adaptation efforts in developing countries, including
reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, particularly
from tropical forests.
climate change is a win-win process. A combination of ambitious and binding
targets, of incentives and of public investments into green technologies and
services will help create millions of green jobs in Europe and tens of
millions worldwide, which are much needed at a time of economic slowdown. The
EU must set itself the target of creating five million green collar jobs over
the coming five years.
significantly improve on the currently wasteful way we use energy, while
massively expanding energy from renewable sources. This will reduce our
dangerous dependence on the import of dirty energy from unstable countries,
with the damaging volatility this causes for our economies and societies.
capitalise on the already-existing ways to save energy. Using less energy and
using it better will be crucial to maintaining a good quality of life at a time
of rising energy prices. The Greens want Europe to place much greater
priority on energy efficiency, setting a binding target to reduce energy
consumption 20% by 2020, as well as supporting and promoting the intelligent
design of heating and cooling technology both in industry and in the housing
be put at the centre of European energy policy for the 21st
Century. The Greens are calling for the creation of a European Renewables
Community (ERENE) to support the long-term goal of 100% energy from renewable
sources. We need a concerted investment drive in green technologies in which
the European Investment Bank must play a role. A real renewables boom requires
a new approach to energy supply: truly unbundling ownership of distribution
and production, while promoting a grid without borders and the smarter use of
cannot be part of the solution to climate change. Expensive
investments in this dead-end technology will not be able to contribute to the
urgently-needed emissions reductions and will divert much-needed funds from the
promotion of sustainable energy production.
Uranium is a
finite fuel source and the EU is overwhelmingly dependent on imports from
unstable countries, so nuclear is clearly not the answer to our long term
energy security. On top of this, the associated risks of nuclear are as real
now as they have always been, whether in terms of operation, fuel production
or managing nuclear waste. This is not to mention the possibility of terrorist
attacks and nuclear proliferation to questionable regimes and even rogue
how we use energy and ending our damaging dependence on oil means we must also
move green. Transport is the fastest growing source of manmade greenhouse gas
emissions. The EU needs to actively work to create a sustainable transport
direct and indirect subsidisation of inefficient and polluting transport modes,
like aviation and road transport, is an important step in ensuring the full
environmental costs are taken into account. We want to speed-up investment in
trans-European railroad connections and networks. Freight must be shifted
from roads to rail and inland waterways on a much bigger scale. Affordable
public transport and sustainable transport options in our cities, such as
cycling and walking, must be promoted.
crunch we face runs far beyond energy resources. A more sustainable approach
to our agricultural and marine resources is vital for our wellbeing, the
health of our ecosystems and their wealth of biodiversity.
Greens want Europe to ensure its citizens have access to healthy food at fair
prices, rather than the limited options the food industry wants to offer
them. Farming, fishing and food policies should encourage mutual responsibility
between farmers, fishermen, authorities and consumers.
Agricultural Policy has encouraged agricultural irresponsibility, with agro-industry
dictating the market terms and gearing production to capitalise on subsidies,
regardless of the environmental consequences. The Greens want to use the
upcoming review to transform EU agricultural policy in a way that supports and
encourages farmers to produce quality food in a sustainable way. The future of
agriculture lies in organic farming and fair trade.
Crucial to this
is a ban on genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). GM crops pose a serious
threat to Europe's biodiversity, as well as the risks of cross-contaminating organic
and conventional farming. For this reason, the Greens are working to make
the European Union a GMO-free zone.
food policies should promote local markets for agricultural products, eliminating
unnecessary transportation. They must encourage more sustainable production
methods that aim to conserve biodiversity and water resources, and enhance
soil fertility, reducing the use of toxic and polluting pesticides and
fertilisers. This approach will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from
intensive agriculture. It will also reduce the risks to public health caused by
industrial farming. Animals must be treated ethically, in agriculture as in all
high levels of animal protection is central to the Green agenda. Europe needs
much higher levels of protection for both domestic and wild animals. We will
continue to work to end the long distance transport of animals, for higher
welfare standards for animal farming, and for better implementation of existing
animal welfare legislation. More needs to be done to promote a reduction in
meat consumption for reasons of climate change, food security, and animal
welfare. We want to see the end of the fur trade, and a swift replacement of
animal tests with non-animal alternatives.
Fisheries Policy (CFP) has been an exercise in self-destruction, driving many
fish stocks to precarious levels. It needs to be urgently reformed away from
the current model of waste and over-exploitation, to a tool which gives
fishermen responsibility for sustainably managing fisheries and conserving
fish stocks. The EU also needs to greatly enhance binding measures to protect
our vulnerable seas and has to revise its exploitative fishing agreements with
Europe is a wealthy Europe. EU citizens are concerned about the
safety of the air they breathe, the water they use and the food they eat.
Environmental pollution damages public health, which in turn places a strain on
societies and economies. The EU needs to do more to address the threats to
public health, whether water- or air-borne, noise, toxic substances, or through
the spread of diseases. The EU has to halt the loss of biodiversity at home and
Social justice and globalisation:
Fighting for a fairer Europe
needs change. The Greens want to end the careless deregulation that has
enabled big business to dictate its own terms regardless of the real impact on
the economy and society at large. This approach encouraged the risky
speculation and over-exploitation that has trapped us in a damaging boom to
bust cycle. We want to take this opportunity to develop a new economy driven
by long-term prosperity, not short-term profiteering. We want a responsible
and stable Europe, which invests ethically and where prosperity is defined by
the well-being of all its people.
markets must be put on a leash, so they cease to be casinos in which
people's homes and livelihoods are the chips on the table. Their transnational
nature demands a coordinated European response that leads and links in to
international efforts. We need an EU-level watchdog with teeth - a body to
scrutinise and regulate financial markets and services. EU regulations must
rule out any kind of tax evasion and prevent harmful tax competition for
corporate revenues and savings, which undermines social justice. The regulation
of the financial markets also implies the negotiation of an international
agreement to outlaw all tax havens.
Credit must be
tied to realistic valuations and risk. The worst excesses of uncontrolled markets
must be reined in, particularly dangerous short-selling practices by traders,
such as hedge funds. Astronomical financial sector salaries and bonuses that
reward risk and recklessness must be capped. The Greens have long advocated the
introduction of a financial transaction levy, which would reduce speculation
and generate resources which could be used to finance various social and
environmental goals that are presently overlooked or underfunded.
markets must be restructured so that the general public can be offered
guaranteeing savings and keeping loans affordable. During the financial crisis,
low-cost credit must be available to support European enterprises, especially
those contributing to the shift towards a more sustainable Europe.
A Green New
Deal calls for massive investment in education, science and research in green,
future-oriented technologies to put Europe at the forefront of a global
prosperous, innovative, stable and sustainable economy requires a fairer society
guaranteeing fair working conditions, equal opportunities and a decent standard
of living for all. Europe must defend social values and justice while adapting
to the needs of changing times. Cutbacks on environmental protection or
compromises on social values would be counterproductive.
The Greens want
to strengthen workers' rights. The European Union suffers from
profound imbalances. It has developed cutting edge rules on business
competition, but labour legislation and social rights have not kept pace.
Loopholes and uncertainties have led to decisions by the European Court of
Justice that tend to put business interest before workers' rights.
lead by raising standards, rather than by a race to the bottom in terms of
employment conditions. The Greens want a Europe that rejects social dumping and
exploitation. Social and labour rights must be reinforced and workers must
have a better say in decisions that affect them, through collective
must be equal pay for equal work for men and women alike, as well as for
posted, immigrant or temporary workers. Equal opportunities for all must be
guaranteed both within and outside the workplace and regardless of sex, age,
ethnicity, disability, religion or sexual orientation.
that weaken public services in the name of competition must end. Public services
such as health and education are crucial to the general interest and must not
be frittered away by competition rules. We need to balance the freedom to
provide social services and services of general interest with the obligation to
guarantee equal, affordable and universal access to these services.
suffer the indignity of living in poverty. The Green New Deal aims to
reverse the widening gap between rich and poor and guarantee a decent minimum
living standard for all Europeans. Governments should introduce minimum wages
by law or collective agreements and a minimum income above the poverty line,
guaranteed by social security, for all in need. The EU should be guided by the
principle of equal pay for equal work and not be a battleground for the lowest
offer greater stability to people of all ages. Senior citizens must be guaranteed
a voice in society, enabling them to actively participate in economic, social
and civic life. This implies guaranteeing sound pensions. Community-based
services must exist to address the individual needs of the frail and
vulnerable. Young people must have access to more secure jobs and better access
to education, training and housing.
also play its part in building fairer societies and eliminating poverty in
other parts of the world. We need to speed up efforts to deliver on the
Millennium Development Goals. The principle of global social and environmental
justice must guide all EU policies and its position in global institutions. The
Greens want to ensure that European governments finally fulfil their
and raise EU overseas development aid to 0.56% of GDP by 2010 and 0.7% by
The Green New
Deal puts fair trade first. Trade must deliver a good deal for all
involved. Europe's power in international negotiations is much too often used
to strike a bargain for the rich at the economic, social and environmental
expense of the poor. Export subsidies for EU agricultural products continue to
threaten the economies of poor countries and must be stopped immediately.
Socially unfair or environmentally-damaging practices by multinationals
elsewhere in the world should be no more acceptable than they would be in our
own backyard. Social and sustainable development clauses in trade partnerships
should therefore be binding. The WTO must be made to transform its free trade
agenda to a fair and sustainable trade agenda, putting the protection of common
goods and poverty reduction first. Europe must practice what it preaches.
Democracy and human rights: a
responsible EU that listens and is heard
Europe needs to
listen and everyone's voice should be heard. The Greens want to reform the
EU, so that it can become a truly participatory democracy.
As the only EU
institution directly-elected by the people, the European Parliament should be
granted the right to initiate legislation. A proportion of MEPs should be
elected on Europe-wide transnational lists, which would allow citizens to vote
for candidates that represent the whole of the EU, rather than just their
national or local constituency. More needs to be done to encourage young people
to participate, for example by lowering the voting age. Citizens should also
have the opportunity of direct democracy through European referenda on issues
of Europe-wide concern.
The Greens will
fight to apply the Charter of Fundamental Rights, to include all members of
society and defend the rights of vulnerable and minority groups. This implies
fighting for equal rights for women, ethnic minorities including the Roma,
people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people and
religious minorities as well as for social and civil rights. This also means
continuing the fight against racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and other
religious intolerance, sexism, discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation
and gender identity and all forms of violent political extremism in the
European Union. Human rights are for all, particularly within EU Member States.
right of equality between men and women must be made a reality. Good
legislation already exists but is scattered around Europe. The Greens want to
see the best national laws applied across the EU, whether regarding equality,
pro-choice issues, domestic violence, maternity and paternity leave or
political representation. Only one-third of MEPs and European Commissioners
are women. The Greens have an equal number of male and female MEPs and we want
the EU to follow our lead.
demand full transparency for all involved in EU decision-making processes. This
implies taking a tough stand against corruption at all levels. The EU itself
must be more accountable to its public. It is time to open closed files and
closed doors. The Greens will also continue to put the spotlight on the shady
and powerful lobbies that seek to influence decisions in Brussels. Transparency
must be an obligation, not an option.
has become a transnational phenomenon and constitutes an emergency in many
Member States. Its profits have been growing exponentially both within and
outside the EU. Efforts to prevent criminal organisations, while safeguarding
civil liberties, should is one of the priorities of the Greens.
Media play a
crucial role in the democratic process. The Greens will continue to defend
media pluralism and independence and freedom of the press in the European
Union and beyond.
The Green New
Deal stands for European values and individual freedoms. All who live here
should enjoy freedom of opinion and religious expression within a secular
and freedoms must not be sacrificed in the name of the "fight against
terrorism" or alleged threats to security. The same applies online. The Greens
believe that digital rights should be on a par with civil rights. Governments
and commercial interests should not have primacy on your privacy. Your
data is your business.
always been a continent of migration and immigration. A Green New Deal will
deliver a European immigration policy that provides a fair chance for people
who wish to live in the EU. The siege mentality of ‘Fortress Europe' must not
an opportunity, not a threat. We need positive-minded policies that
will allow people to come here legally and efficiently. Immigrants who work
in the EU deserve equal rights and equal pay, as well as the opportunity of
European citizenship and the right to participate in the political process.
People who seek
asylum in Europe deserve to be treated better. The Greens have
opposed repressive laws on returning unauthorised migrants and will continue
to fight inhumane or xenophobic legislation. Europe has a duty to provide
shelter and protection to those who need it. Europe should be a bridge that
will allow people to come and live here in a legal way. It will only be able to
do this effectively when all EU countries share the effort instead of leaving
border countries to take the strain. A revision of the Dublin Convention, which
aims to harmonise EU asylum policies and guarantees protection in line with
international obligations, is a must. Europe must also do more to fight the
despicable trafficking of men, women and children across its borders.
Union must lead by example in its engagement with the rest of the world: this
implies a new style of foreign policy. It must devote its energy to solving
root causes of international tensions and not just fighting their
manifestations. The EU should strengthen multilateral bodies and international
law, focus on civilian foreign policy instruments and follow the principle of
maximum fairness in all of its external policies, including trade. European
policies must champion peace, democracy and human rights in the world and do
so consistently and coherently. The EU should also devote more energy and
resources to support the international community (particularly the UN) in
addressing conflicts that have been long overlooked.
cooperation and humanitarian aid must be a priority. Establishing a European
Civil Peace Corps ready to make non-military interventions for humanitarian
purposes would play an important part of this.
We want a
European Union that fosters democracy and human rights, while promoting a
pluralistic civil society across the globe. Human rights must not be
sacrificed in the name of economic interest.
A Green New Deal for Europe PDF