The Club of Rome and SYSTEMIQ propose a systemic framework of implementation for delivering on European Green Deal ambitions

Oct 23, 2020

During a public launch event hosted by Euractiv, The Club of Rome and SYSTEMIQ present their co-written report A System Change Compass for delivering the European Green Deal in a time of recovery.

The European Green Deal (EGD) sets a vision for Europe to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. It is also Europe’s best plan to recover from the Covid-19 crisis by creating a more prosperous, sustainable and resilient economy. But delivering this bold vision requires an equally bold framework for implementation.

A System Change Compass: Implementing the European Green Deal in a time of recovery, with a foreword by President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen, sets out the guiding principles and systemic orientations to help address barriers to a rapid and successful rollout of the EGD along all dimensions of the European policy sphere.

Based on the unique Compass framework, the report provides a set of clear policy interventions to redefine prosperity, progress, the metrics used to measure success, governance, leadership and the enabling role of finance. It also identifies over 50 emerging industry “champions” that will drive Europe’s transformation towards a more competitive, resource-efficient economy in line with societal needs. These champions – from urban agriculture to seaweed farming and hydrogen technologies – represent scalable sustainable industries that will form Europe’s economic backbone in a net-zero world.

Recognising that Europe’s environmental, social and health challenges are rooted in the unsustainable use of natural resources, lead authors Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Janez Potočnik and Martin R. Stuchtey demonstrate how radical resource decoupling, dematerialisation and rethinking ownership can lead to human wellbeing and economic resilience.

Janez Potočnik, SYSTEMIQ Partner and former European Commissioner for Science and Research and for the Environment, says “applying a ‘resource lens’ to all economic activity is essential to drive the recovery and deliver the European Green Deal-–which are two sides of the same coin. Both are underpinned by ecosystems that are interdependent, regenerative, resilient and adaptive”.

To that extent, this report sets out the transformations needed across the drivers and pressures of our economic system for the EU to deliver on societal needs and ensure a prosperous future within planetary boundaries.

Our hope is that this report can serve as a guide to ambitious implementation of the European Green Deal across the EU. Time is not on our side. The European Green Deal provides a strong political narrative and mission for transformation, but it can only be delivered if it is matched with an equally bold framework for implementation” says Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President of The Club of Rome.

Echoing President von der Leyen’s call for a “systemic modernisation across our economy, society and industry” in her State of the Union address (September 2020), the report is designed to inform conversations and provide a ‘starting kit’ to EU policy stakeholders. The implementation of the European Green Deal, as a political programme that bridges old and new theories of change, requires a new way of thinking about policy implementation-–a holistic systems approach to match its horizontal, multisectoral nature.

Martin R. Stuchtey, SYSTEMIQ Founding Partner, says “We asked ourselves a very simple question: under what circumstances would the European Green Deal be welcomed by businesses, investors, politicians and community leaders alike? The System Change Compass describes the prerequisites which will ensure their support, reconcile their interests and drive momentum to achieve the European Green Deal’s ambition.”

Download the Executive Summary and the Report here. (Re)Watch the public launch event with Euractiv here

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