The European Green Deal: Unrealistic, Unfair, Unsustainable and Useless.

By Henri Marenne and Philippe Charlez (Institut Sapiens, Paris)

While the causes of the European agricultural crisis are multifactorial, the European Union bears an overwhelming responsibility. One European Commission initiative in particular can be singled out: the European “Green Deal”. In the name of the fight against global warming, this aims to make Europe a continent “greener than green”. Thereby, the Green Deal insidiously acts like a generalized cancer metastasizing what remains of industry and agriculture while making the middle classes already greatly weakened by globalization a little more impoverished every day.

The Green Deal is notably at the origin of a battery of dogmatic and thoughtless regulations of which technocratic Europe has the secret : environmental standards making our economy less and less competitive, societal standards seeking to ultimately impose a new “decreasing” totalitarian society.

Launched in 2019 by the unelected president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Layen, the Green Deal is a cut & paste of the Energiewende promoted by her mentor Angela Merkel and imposing on Germany a dogmatic 100% renewable associated with the banning of nuclear. Europe had initially set itself an ambitious but reasonable objective : a reduction in emissions of 40% compared to 1990, in line with the trend observed since the beginning of the century. But, pushed by an ecological wave and its environmental lobbies, the Commission finally decided in 2022 to go from 40% to 55%. In other words, European countries are required to move from an annual decarbonization rate of 1.5% to 5%. In an exhaustive report released on January 31, 2024, the Institute Sapiens, based in Paris, renamed the Green Deal the “4U Pact”: unrealistic, unfair, unsustainable and useless.

Unrealistic because European countries will never be able to decarbonize by 2030 at such a rythm.

Unfair because it forgets the initial level of decarbonization and the demographic evolution of member countries. So while the French are asked to reduce their 2030 territorial emissions to 3.5 tCO2/hab the German will still be authorized to emit double.

Unsustainable because it requires stratospheric financial efforts from citizens which will inexorably result in an impoverishment of the middle classes, an increase in debt, taxation and the trade balance deficit.

Useless because its effect on the climate will be insignificant. For France Stratégie, the Green Deal is above all a moral commitment to set an example for emerging countries but also an act of repentance in relation to past emissions. In a way, we are asking the European citizen to commit suicide without flinching on the altar of virtue!

We should finally also raise the question of its democratic legitimacy. Is the text really the fruit of the legislative work of a legitimately elected Parliament or that of a technocratic Commission of lobbyists not elected by the people? What serious studies have been carried out to justify the move from 40% to 55%? Why has this text, which is committing the future of Europe for the next fifty years, not been submitted to a public consultation or a popular initiative referendum? No citizen knows the administrative twists and turns of its gestation, nor the compromises that were weighed in order to have it accepted by a majority of elected officials. It must be said that the last Referendum of 2006 on the European Constitution did not leave good memories!

Let us remember the Law establishing the nuclear phase-out passed in 2003 in Belgium. The rainbow coalition at the time had to join forces with a small environmentalist party to form a majority. And despite the reluctance of many parliamentarians, the blocking minority had imposed its anti-nuclear dictate. The same kind of dynamics prevailed in France, leading to the shut down of the nuclear plants Superphénix, Astrid and Fessenheim. It is easy to imagine that a Green Deal as damaging to European society would result from a similar journey and negotiations.

It is up to Europeans to democratically answer these questions in June 2024.

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