Economic recovery is the immediate policy imperative –electrification must wait.
Supporting electrification projects generates jobs and economic growth while also advancing Europe towards a low-carbon and sustainable economy.
Investments and government programs aimed at reinvigorating the economy and generating jobs can also deliver against other social objectives. For example, by prioritising projects that bring Europe closer to a sustainable and low-carbon economy, both economic regeneration and climate action can be achieved simultaneously, an idea supported by European leaders.
Public efforts to accelerate the electrification of sectors currently dominated by fossil fuels, such as road transport or heating and cooling, offer a clear opportunity because they can simultaneously deliver economic, social and environmental benefits.
A public push for investments in charging infrastructure for road transport will stimulate jobs and activity across multiple sectors, while at the same time making it easier for people to cut emissions by switching to electric vehicles. Electrification efforts also provide an opportunity to deliver social objectives. For example, programmes aimed at providing citizens with electric heat pumps could be targeted towards poorer households, promoting social equality and increasing these groups’ disposable income by lowering heating costs. In this way, investments to electrify heat can simultaneously stimulate economic activity, create jobs, reduce energy poverty and cut climate gas emissions.
Climate Home News (2020): European Green Deal must be central to a resilient recovery after Covid-19. Letter from 13 European Ministers of Environment published on April 9 2020. Available at https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/04/09/european-green-deal-must-central-resilient-recovery-covid-19/