As the EU’s response to the crisis prescribes more austerity, the recession becomes even deeper and the way out of the tunnel seems even more distant. In this gloomy setting, exploiting the natural environment is seen by troubled member states as a quick-fix solution for rapid economic recovery.
The news reported in the current issue fuel both concern and hope. Loss of important environmental acquis in Italy, Spain and Greece and political obsession with mining and high footprint investments cause serious concerns that a deeper, ecological-social and economic, crisis is looming in the horizon. But new signs of hope come from Romania, France and Denmark.
The massive demonstrations that have taken conquered the streets of Romania’s major cities against the environmentally perilous gold mining investment in Rosia Montana have rightly been characterised as a peaceful ecological revolution by the people of this economically impoverished part of Europe. The public investment policies on green industry and nature protection announced by the governments of France and Denmark are beacons of hope that show the way for the much needed ecological transformation of European economies.
It is our firm belief that this crisis can and needs to serve as the starting point for a thorough shift of global economies towards sustainability.
Theodota Nantsou, WWF Greece & Isabella Pratesi, WWF Italy