The European Green Deal is our new growth strategy and this strategy is going to guide our recovery after the pandemic. Most importantly, this is the strategy that respects the planet’s boundaries by proposing long-term solutions.
Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius
Commissioner Sinkevičius took part in an online Citizens’ Dialogue to discuss the European Green Deal, the EU’s biodiversity strategy, circular economy, pollution, and other policies that aim to achieve climate neutrality in Europe by 2050.
The Commissioner joined the online event from Brussels, while Alda Ozola, Latvian Deputy Secretary of State for Environmental Protection, and Jānis Brizga, researcher at the University of Latvia and Chair of the Board at the NGO “Green Liberty”, joined from Riga.
Questions from online participants covered topics such as the sustainability of forests, waste management, climate neutrality, the protection of biodiversity and fishing quotas in the Baltic Sea. On that last topic, one participant asked about the survival of Latvia’s fishing industry in the Baltic Sea following measures set out in the Green Deal.
Other participants asked about the impacts of the Green Deal on their daily lives: “How will the European Green Deal concretely affect my life – will my taxes be raised, will diesel-fueled vehicles be prohibited from a certain year, will hunting be prohibited, will all pesticides be prohibited from use?”
On the same subject, another participant wanted to know whether Latvian businesses would be given enough time and funds to adapt to the new, higher standards. “Will the European Green Deal not reduce their competitiveness vis-à-vis richer competitors from Western European countries?”
Participants were also worried about the consequences of the current pandemic. One of them asked whether investing in the circular economy could be the answer to recovery from this crisis. On the issue of a balanced and fair recovery, a participant asked if the green transition would deliver opportunities for all: “In your opinion does the risk exist to leave behind people and regions in EU?”