The green transition needs a democratic transition first

From April 1968, the issue of the limits of economic growth has been brought to the international attention by the Club of Rome. The debate around the climate crisis and the future of the Earth and its ecosystems has grown significantly ever since. In 2015, the United Nations approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development listing 17 goals with one priority: the fight against poverty through education and urgent actions to combat the climate crisis and its impact on the ecosystems. In the same year, the Paris Agreement linked to the reduction of greenhouse gases was signed. Towards the end of 2019, Europe began developing the Green Deal, with the objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

Each step of this development has something in common, namely the transnational origin of all research programs. indeed, scientists from all over the world are collaborating side by side. This is why, in order to face this global crisis, it is necessary to invest even more in research policies on a continental basis, at a European level, and in particular on energy sources of the future and the circular economy. University and school dropout need to be considered as well.

The climate crisis can only be faced if we all act together. That means contrasting also the energy domains of some countries. It is undeniable that this is a global issue that will play a key role in redefining the global balance of power. Take China: through the CATL company, has become a world leader in the production of batteries for electric cars. Plus, according to estimates provided in al inquiry by the Wall Street Journal, Beijing controls between 50 and 70 percent of the world supplies of raw materials necessary for the production of electric cars.

Total dependence on China for the supply of those products is dangerous. For this reason, the European Commission has decided to create the European Battery Alliance, a plan which provides for an investment of one billion Euros to start research and develop new batteries and replace the current production of petrol and diesel cars. China’s commitment to batteries rests on investments and significant numbers: out of 142 huge lithium battery factories under construction worldwide, in fact, over 100 are in China, only 9 in the United States, according to the report The Commanding Heights of Global Transport published last month by Securing America’s Future Energy (Safe) based in Washington, DC.

The investment in the ecological transition is a fundamental node for a new development model, an extraordinary opportunity to create new jobs but also a decisive challenge for the current balance of power in the world. With special attention to the quality of development and the rights of people and workers. We need a green wave capable to transform the Silk Road into a new path with human rights, innovation and sustainability at the centre.

Sarah Brizzolara

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