The three limits of the Green Deal

En Europe and the United States, but at very different stages of advancement, two legislative proposals potentially carrying immense transformations for the economies of the United States and the European Union – but also of the whole world – are on Table. On March 4, the European Commission published its proposed climate law, announced in its communication of December 11, 2019 entitled "The Green Pact for Europe" (Green Deal). In February 2019, the American democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 67 other members of the House of Representatives had signed a bill calling for the implementation of a "green new deal" – in reference to the New Deal implemented by the President Roosevelt in 1933 to revive the American economy. Bernie Sanders, candidate for the Democratic primary for the presidential election in November, made it a major focus of his campaign, declining the Green New Deal in many concrete measures.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Climate: “Optimists believed that awareness was real. But no, the orchestra continues to play "

The two proposals have many things in common. They both set themselves the objective of carbon neutrality for 2050 (zero net emission of greenhouse gases), a massive use of renewable energies (100% renewable energies for electricity and transport by 2030 for Sanders), an increase in public investment ($ 16 trillion in public investment – € 14 trillion – for the Democrat, an additional $ 260 billion a year until 2030 for the Commission), notably intended for development transport infrastructure and thermal renovation of buildings. Both programs pledge to end all fossil fuel subsidies, Sanders said it is important to "Attack the billionaires of fossil fuels whose greed is at the very heart of the climate crisis".

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also The ambiguities of the climate law presented by the European Commission

The notion of "just transition"

The two proposals also place at the center of their objectives – and this is an essential point – the protection of workers who risk losing their job or having to change their job during what will undoubtedly constitute a huge restructuring. The notion of "just transition", invented by the International Trade Union Confederation in 2009 and long ignored, is therefore now widely mobilized to underline that ecological transition must not result in the exclusion of workers employed in sectors which are otherwise likely to be closed at least deeply transformed. In addition to proposing the creation of 20 million jobs for the climate, Sanders considers necessary a guarantee of maintenance for five years of wages and the granting of allowances in the event of job loss in declining sectors like that fossil fuels. The European Commission is proposing a Just Transition Fund, part of a large system with € 100 billion to support retraining.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here