For Europe to transition to a climate-neutral economy, we need both political commitment and significant investments. The Green Deal proves the European Union’s commitment to tackling climate change, which we are reinforcing with a financing plan
Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis
Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis took part in an online Citizens’ Dialogue on the topic “European Green Deal and Economy Recovery after COVID-19 Crisis” that was part of the annual Conversation Festival, LAMPA.
Other speakers were Mr Jūris Pūce, Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Mr Mārtiņš Kazāks, Governor of the Bank of Latvia, and Ms Līga Meņģelsone, Director General of the Latvian Employers’ Confederation (LDDK).
The main message that came out of the dialogue was that the European Green Deal is a growth strategy that will allow Europe’s and Latvia’s economies to grow sustainably.
The discussion focused on issues such as the EU and member states’ policy response to the pandemic and the climate crisis, as well as how public investments can be best directed to stimulate the economy and create new jobs while bringing the continent closer to climate neutrality. Within this context, it was discussed how the Green Deal and Recovery Plan will contribute to economic growth and modernisation in Latvia, in particular, and the EU as a whole.
During the debate, citizens proposed that the EU focus more on stimulating green behaviour rather than punishing other behaviours through taxes and regulations. Business representatives suggested to perform an economic impact assessment of all Green Deal proposals.
On the link between the Green Deal and the recovery of the current Covid crisis, one citizen asked whether Latvia’s recovery plans would be subject to “green filters”.
Housing was another topic addressed during the discussion. Latvian Environment Minister Pūce suggested that all new public buildings henceforth should be “passive houses”. One participant added that the life-cycle emissions of construction materials and the polluting effect at the end of this life-cycle should also be taken into account when building or renovating.