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A Green New Deal for Europe

With the United States repudiating climate action, Europe should step up to lead the needed structural transformation. A transnational compact uniting Europe’s liberal and progressive forces under the banner of a Green New Deal would leverage the force produced by cross-partisan consensus and broad popular support.

FLORENCE – Earlier this month, Jim Yong Kim abruptly resigned from his post as World Bank president, leaving a pillar of the international financial order without leadership or direction. Kim will join a private equity firm, where he believes he can “make the largest impact on major global issues like climate change.”

True, the private sector has an important role to play in mobilizing funds for upgrading business models to address the threat posed by climate change. But governments and multilateral institutions remain indispensable to securing the comprehensive economic transformation that is needed.

The scientific evidence for global warming is unequivocal. According to conservative estimates, an increase in global temperature of more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century would cause widespread environmental devastation. Increasingly severe weather conditions would destroy biodiversity and livelihoods, while straining resources. Rising sea levels would cause coastal towns to disappear. All of this would contribute to social instability and large-scale migration.

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