As Britain’s electorate endorsed just one Green Party candidate to sit in one of the House of Commons’ 650 seats, EU leaders promised to deliver a major economic plan to confront the climate emergency by making Europe the first carbon-neural continent within three decades.
The scale of change — and resources — needed to deliver this can hardly be underestimated but then, neither can the consequences of not embracing radical reform.
This promise came despite Poland’s opt-out from a net-zero emissions target by 2050.
It may be possible to understand Poland’s position — “Poland will be reaching climate neutrality at its own pace,” said prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki — but it is not possible to regard it as satisfactory especially as very significant transition funds are to be made available.
But then, we cannot complain too loudly. Our acceptance of measures designed to avert climate catastrophe has been at best piecemeal.
Neither are we strangers to the idea of deferred virtue.
Despite Poland’s prevarication, European Council president Charles Michel, declared victory on the 2050 target.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said Poland’s position would not delay the green deal.
She has promised to publish details of a €100bn “just transition fund” in January to help EU economies make the green transition, in addition to €1 trillion the European Investment Bank has said it plans to generate from public and (mostly) private sources.
Let us hope these vast efforts are not too late.