Podcast: Green new deal and just transition

In the latest European Conversations Podcast, our third, Kirsty Hughes talks to Diederik Samsom, Head of Cabinet to European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, and former leader of the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) about the world’s climate challenge and what the EU is doing to help tackle it.

Ranging from the European Green Deal via next year’s COP26 global climate summit in Glasgow to the challenges of moving on from fossil fuels and ensuring a just transition even in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, this wide-ranging conversation highlights how the EU, unlike the UK, is planning for the future as well as the current recovery and showing rthe way to the world.

Comparing the current economic downturn brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic as “the financial crisis on steroids”, Samsom says the EU has convinced the public that “the best way to recover from this crisis is to build back green” and “this is a huge consensus.”

He suggests that the urgency with which the world has to act to combat the climate emergency has sunken in far more than ten years ago, with a much greater capacity to invest in green technology on a truly substantial scale. “I am still optimistic we will come out of this crisis stronger and greener,” he says, adding: “There will be a just transition or there just won’t be any transition.”

On COP26 he says: “We Europeans have never been more optimistic in terms of the momentum to make this happen and we bloody should be as this is our last chance. We have to do this now or just don’t bother as it will be too late.” Are you listening USA?

You can listen to the full podcast here on this site:

Featured image of Diederik Samsom by Wouter Engeler via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0