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Promoting a global green transition following the Russian invasion of Ukraine – The external dimensions of the European Green Deal


Alfonso Medinilla, Koen Dekeyser and Karim Karaki, ECDPM paper, 20 June 2022

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The European Green Deal is being reassessed in a highly securitised environment. This not only has an effect on Europe’s own transition perspectives, but can also alter the global green transition and long-term credibility of the EU. This paper zooms in on the green energy transition and food systems change under the Farm to Fork Strategy, identifying key challenges in maintaining an ambitious and effective EU ‘Green Deal diplomacy’.

The changing context calls for a fundamentally outward-looking and global approach to green transition, one that more structurally links the EU’s own transition with the economic development, industrialisation, sustainable transition and security needs of countries in the Neighbourhood and Africa. Lowering ambitions of the external dimensions of the Green Deal or simply staying the course is not an option. Being seen as a genuine partner in the global sustainability transition is a geopolitical imperative for the EU, as it looks for more resilient and more stable energy partnerships, but also as it seeks to strengthen its competitive offer vis-à-vis China in an overall more challenging geopolitical environment.

Concretely, an outward-looking and global approach includes: prioritising energy partnerships that create co-benefits through green industrialisation; aligning all relevant EU policy instruments and deepening cooperation to support more sustainable food systems abroad; addressing more effectively the structural barriers for a more context-specific green transition; showcasing the EU’s ability to mobilise public and private finance for a comprehensive green transition; and responding to perceptions of double standards and a unilateral EU decarbonisation.

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Photo courtesy of Appolinary Kalashnikova via Unsplash.

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Climate action and green transitionEU foreign and development policySustainable food systemsDiscussion Papers (series)