To the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament and national leaders
We call upon EU and national leaders to tackle the unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic with solidarity, courage and innovation.
We do not want a return to business as usual, to an economic model which has exacerbated social inequalities, jeopardised our health, and driven our planet’s climate and nature to the brink of collapse. Instead, now is the time to radically and rapidly make our economies greener, fairer, and more resilient to future shocks.
We demand the establishment of the biggest green investment programme the world has ever seen - backed up by all available EU financial tools to finance a recovery that is green and just.
Why is this important?
A quarter of jobs in the EU are at risk, and nearly a million jobs have been lost just in Spain due to the pandemic.  This is only a hint of the tragedy still to come - already here for so many of us unable to afford basics such as accommodation. 
As the European Commission puts together a recovery plan, polluting industries (like airlines and coal-burning plants) are elbowing their way to the front of the queue to get support - thanks to their enormous lobbying power. They want the biggest piece of the pie… and to use this crisis to weaken environmental standards. 
This recovery plan is being negotiated right now. Let’s make it clear it must prioritise the tragedies of people before those of airlines, car, plastic and other polluting industries. Let’s make it clear that economic recovery cannot be at the expense of a healthy environment: pollution makes coronavirus deadlier. 
The Marshall Plan-like scheme  to face the economic crisis cannot replicate the mistakes of the bailouts following the 2008 financial crisis: banks and corporations shouldn’t be saved at the expense of workers, people and the planet.
But this time is different.
Just before coronavirus hit the world, the European Commission was in the midst of putting together a European Green Deal: a package of measures to guide Europe’s transition into a just and green economy.
The current economic downturn that will soon deepen demonstrates the profound need for such a package: and in fact, 17 EU countries including Germany, France, Italy and Spain are already pushing the Commission to base the recovery plan on the Green Deal!  But this master plan needs to be not only fully executed, but also boosted and expanded.
If we don’t take action the Commission will only hear from polluting industries and the battle between EU governments on whether to keep the Green Deal or not. They need to hear from citizens too. The Green Deal is a good starting point, but it’s far from enough.
For it to be a solid enough recovery package with teeth to tackle the health, economic and climate those crises, a true green deal would:
In short, we call on our leaders to demonstrate unity and vision in this crisis by putting forward the biggest green investment programme the world has ever seen. They must resist the temptation to give in to quick ‘fixes’ and rescue an unsustainable economy - one that is socially unjust, polluting, heating our planet, depleting natural resources, and putting the health and wellbeing of its population at risk.
Instead, let’s use this moment to build something new, something much better: a truly sustainable economy, which is carbon-neutral, circular and fair - where people and nature thrive. This way, we can create high quality green jobs, tackle climate change, restore nature, and make our economies and societies more resilient in the long run.
Now is the time to unite to put Europe firmly on the path to a green and fair economy. Together, we can achieve this!
- https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/17/coronavirus-profiteers-condemned-as-polluters-gain-bailout-billions , https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/31/bailouts-coronavirus-state-aid
- The Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, was a program providing economic aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II.
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Our green transition is at risk, under pressure from powerful polluting lobbies. We have 48 hours before the proposal for the European Commission for a recovery plan is finalised: if the Commission falls for the pressure, the ‘green’ could be removed from the ‘recovery’.
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Thank you for standing with us in our fight for a recovery plan that puts people at its heart and makes our economies greener! It is only together that we can truly be a force to be reckoned with.