Where is prolonged austerity taking Europe? Can we hope for some light in the horizon, or is the deepening recession shifting attention away from the real causes of the crisis and sending governments onboard the tumbling boat of short-sighted development at any cost?
Although there is no easy answer, the overall trend is clear: the environment and clean energy policies are being sidelined by the majority of debt-ridden member states. At the same time, the European Union is also relinquishing its role as a global leader in environmental policies and begins to question the development potential of its own green laws.
A few EU states, swim against the current, by strengthening their environmental and green investments policies. Conservation organisations, such as WWF, and civil society in general show beyond doubt that the only sustainable solution to the crisis is the development of living economies through necessary green reforms.
This month’s bulletin reports on threats posed by crisis-related policies to one of Europe’s most important biodiversity hotspots, Spain’s Donana, Italy’ dying environmental budget and the “war” against clean energy. You will also read about the positive messages we get from Denmark’s leading role in green policies and WWF Greece’s plan for a living economy in troubled Greece.
In this dismal reality, WWF mobilises societies to resist fake development dilemmas that governments promote in response to the crisis and voice powerful demands for truly sustainable solutions.
Through the Seize Your Power Campaign, over 60,000 global citizens have already signed an international appeal for worldwide divestment from fossil fuels and support to a clean energy future. In the Mediterranean, thousands have already joined WWF’s efforts to save the natural treasures of Italy’s Pantelleria island from oil drilling and Greece’s forested lands and coastal landscapes from large constructions that are promoted in a draft law.
We sincerely hope you find this bulletin on the environmental dimensions of the economic crisis interesting and useful to your work. Please share with us any information you consider “hot” and relevant.
Theodota Nantsou, WWF Greece & Isabella Pratesi, WWF Italy