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Since the outbreak of COVID pandemics Green Deal has been seen as a kind of social vaccine to overcome the health and economic crisis caused by the pandemics. Green Deal emerged in 2019 as a political project to make the EU climate neutral by 2050; and earlier this year the leaders of the European Union have agreed to making climate neutrality by 2050 a legally binding target. They furthermore agreed to also set a target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to the 1990 levels.
While the Left generally welcomed the idea of transition to green energy and climate neutrality, it nevertheless warned that the working class would be left behind, if the transition to clean energy is to be caried without interventions from the Left. A number of left-wing thinkers have argued that dealing with the climate crisis is inseparable from the dismantling of a capitalist system of production and building a climate-neutral and owned-by-citizens alternative to it.
Meantime, the Danish capital Copenhagen has announced to become the world’s first carbon neutral capital, already by 2025. This occurred in a context in which Copenhagen commonly is assumed to be one of the most climate progressive cities in the world and used as an example of a successful transition to clean energy.
Following this development, we have invited Ulrik Kohl, the former Copenhagen City councilor working with the city’s sustainability transition to an online debate aiming to address challenges and possibilities in making socially just transition to the clean energy. What are the experiences and challenges from Copenhagen, and (how) can they be translated to a broader or even global targets of carbon neutrality? How can we achieve a socially just transition to carbon neutrality on a global scale?
This is the fourth in a series of six online debate meetings addressing the economic prospects relating to the still ongoing corona pandemic. We seek to map strategies, opportunities, and dilemmas for the Left. What is the Left’s role in the process of transition to clean energy in relation to the health and economic crisis? How can a socially just transition to carbon neutrality be achieved, locally and globally?
Online debate with the former Copenhagen City councilor Ulrik Kohl, who is currently doing action research on community energy in the Nordics and Southeast Europe with Malmö University (S) and Roskilde University (DK). DEO’s chief analyst Rasmus Nørlem Sørensen will moderate the debate.
The project is sponsored by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (Brussels), a German political foundation closely linked to Die Linke, the German Left Party.