Skip Navigation
Back to PolicyBot

Green New Deals: Bad for Americans and Bad for Europeans

August 7, 2020

By inserting more government intervention into the EU economy, a European Green New Deal would weaken current and future economic freedom and disproportionately harm the poor..

From the report:

With an apocalyptic warning that “[c]limate change and environmental degradation are an existential threat to Europe and the world,” the European Commission rolled out its “European Green New Deal” in December 2019. The road map, modeled broadly after the U.S. Green New Deal, aims to achieve no net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. As Politico reported, … retired Italian chemistry Professor Vincenzo Balzani [said] that the EU goal to cut Europe’s carbon-dioxide emissions to “net zero” (by sequestering at least as much greenhouse gases as it produces) is “a proposal to remake civilization.”

A European GND would certainly deliver on that promise—but not in the way Professor Balzani intends. The mandates, regulations, and subsidies required to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions would drive energy prices higher, disproportionately harming low-income Europeans, and have a negligible impact on climate. Driving out affordable, reliable energy sources for politically preferred ones would reduce living standards and political liberty for everyone living under its decrees, rolling back some of the progress made during two millennia of Western civilization. By inserting more government intervention into the EU economy, a GND would weaken current and future economic freedom.

Kevin D. Dayaratna is Senior Statistician and Research Programmer in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis (CDA) and a Policy Advisor with the Heartland Institute.