The European Vegetarian Union (EVU) welcomes the recent publication of the European Green Deal Barometer 2023, which sheds light on the progress and challenges faced by the European Green Deal. The comprehensive survey, conducted by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), gathered the views of over 600 sustainability experts, including that of the EVU and its members, and offers valuable insights into the implementation of the European Green Deal and its future resilience.
The key findings of the Barometer indicate that while sustainability experts maintain cautious optimism about the Green Deal’s resilience, insufficient commitment from Member States remains a significant barrier. Despite 61% of respondents expressing optimism about the Green Deal’s future after the 2024 European elections, experts believe that political shifts and wavering support pose potential challenges.
Notably, the survey identified a fair and sustainable food and farming system as one of the top policy priorities for the European Commission after the elections. In this regard, 63% of EU experts highlighted the importance of increasing financial support for farmers transitioning toward sustainable agricultural practices. Notably, a significant majority also called for more CAP funding for animal product alternatives, signalling the transition towards plant-based diets as essential to achieving the Green Deal’s targets. The EVU echoes this sentiment and emphasises not only the need to allocate more funding under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to promote plant-based foods but also the need for a fair tax reform that incentivises the consumption of more sustainable foods
The Barometer also calls for increased funding for the implementation of the European Green Deal agenda. A resounding 91% of EU experts surveyed believe the European Commission should propose increasing the share of funds allocated to the Green Deal agenda in the mid-term review of the EU long-term budget for 2021-2027. This funding boost would facilitate the necessary investments in sustainable infrastructure, research, and development. Increasing funding for research into plant-based foods is something that the EVU has repeatedly called for, underlining its vital role in the transition to more sustainable eating habits.
In response to the report’s findings, Eero Yrjö-Koskinen, Executive Director of the IEEP, expressed confidence that the Green Deal’s objectives would be transformed into approved legislation. Yrjö-Koskinen urged policymakers to step up their efforts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, taking inspiration from the experts’ confidence in the Green Deal’s potential.
As the European Union looks toward the future, the EVU urges policymakers to heed the experts’ calls for a fair and sustainable food system, increased funding for the Green Deal agenda, and accelerated action to combat the climate crisis – such as by transitioning and encouraging plant-based diets.