21st Feb 2024


War, Peace and the Green Economy

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This magazine is about the world's collective and potentially transformational journey towards a green economy. It is also about taking you, the reader, on what we hope is an equally fascinating "green voyage" across some key parts of Europe as well as to Africa and China.

Editing and writing the magazine has been an unpredictable journey in itself. Our initial plans, drawn up in January, were based on the assumption of continuing peace in Europe.

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All that changed suddenly on 24 February when Russia invaded Ukraine, upending many of the questions we took for granted, including the future of the EU's Green Deal.

As we go to press, it is still not clear how the war in Ukraine will reshape the global green transition. Some are hoping for a stepping up of moves towards renewables while others speculate that some already-reluctant governments will seek to delay such plans.

The topic is vast, fascinating and multi-faceted. To polish up your green credentials, we have a glossary of key climate-related terms and a visual journey through the most defining moments and initiatives which mark the EU's green transformation.

For easier reading, we have divided the magazine into three parts:

First, we look into the more interesting and intriguing internal aspects of the EU's Green Deal. The magazine kicks off with our lead article, which finds that — at least for the moment — Russia's war against Ukraine and, before that, Covid 19, are supercharging the project, instead of derailing it.

There is criticism, however, that the EU's decision to include natural gas and nuclear power as "transitional activities" in its sustainable investments guidelines for green finance could turn out to be, in the words of some, the "biggest greenwash ever."

Meanwhile, increasing nuclear energy capacity has re-emerged as an option to help Europe cut dependence on Russian fossil fuels and, in Germany, we explore whether the government's pro-renewables rhetoric in Berlin is really being translated action on the ground.

Second, we take a closer look at the Green Deal's external fall-out, especially on African countries where the EU has been advocating an "African Green Deal", as a centrepiece of the continent's economic recovery. Our interviews and articles reflect more nuanced African thinking on the topic and warn that the EU's much-publicised Global Gateway connectivity initiative as well as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism are not universally welcomed in Africa.

Finally, we talk to former Green MEP Magic Magid who is campaigning for climate justice and to MEP Mohammed Chahim who says a large chunk of the proceeds from the carbon border tax should be used to help low-income countries to build renewable energy systems and clean-up their industries.

Uganda's young climate activist Hilda Flavia Nakabuye explains why she will not stop her campaign for the greening of Africa.

With its diversity of authors and views and its globally-inclusive approach, we believe the magazine sharpens ongoing EU discussions on the green economy.

We really enjoyed putting this magazine together and we hope you enjoy reading it.

This article first appeared in EUobserver's magazine, War, Peace and the Green Economy, which you can now read in full online.

Author bio

Shada Islam is an independent EU analyst and commentator who runs her own strategy and advisory company New Horizons Project. She is also the new editor of the EUobserver magazine.

Outside shocks supercharge the EU Green Deal — for now

Russia's war against Ukraine and, before that, Covid 19 risk derailing the EU's ambitious Green Deal. Instead, as Wester Van Gaal explains, both external shocks have supercharged the project — at least for now.

Green label for gas may be coming unstuck

The European Commission on Tuesday defended labelling natural gas as a sustainable investment during a session at the European Parliament. Sceptical lawmakers said demand for gas is strong enough.

With war raging, a push to roll back green farming

Campaigners say pesticides lobbyists are trying to rollback green farming rules but Europe "can't just drop everything we've already tried to develop for sustainable development of farming in the future," says EU agriculture commissioner.

EU backs gas as 'green' amid energy supply concerns

The European Commission has decided to include gas in its new guidelines for clean and sustainable finance - a move that responds to the bloc's environmental goals and the dramatic rise in energy security concerns.

War, Peace and the Green Economy

This magazine is about the world's collective and potentially transformational journey towards a green economy. It is also about taking the reader on what we hope is a fascinating "green voyage" across Europe, Africa and China.

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