The Four Motors for Europe pushing to make sustainability and climate action an integral part of the wider recovery

In the framework of the Four Motors for Europe Environment Working Group, the Ministers for the Environment of the network gathered on 23rd April, 2020 via videoconference to share ideas and proposals how to restart growth after the coronavirus pandemic.


By making sustainability and climate action an integral part of the wider recovery, regions can achieve various economic and social goals both in the short-term aid perspective and in the pursuit of a resilient future.

“This unprecedented crisis is affecting our health, our economy and our society in a completely new and disruptive way”  Raffaele Cattaneo, Minister of Environment and Climate of Lombardy, said. “Meanwhile, it calls to innovative policy action, especially from the European leading economies that have to guide the recovery. It must consolidate in a long-term perspective with new investments in infrastructures and services, while at the same time keeping looking at sustainability, decarbonisation and circular economy as levers for competitiveness.”

In this situation, the partners of the Four Motors for Europe (4ME) give impulse to a renewed political dialogue, currently running also at national and European level.

Minister Franz Untersteller, Minister of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector of Baden-Wuerttemberg assured his colleagues of his deep sympathy for the difficult situation in which the partner regions find themselves and offered support. At the same time, he stressed, “despite the health crisis, the global crisis of climate change continues. Therefore, the overcoming of the corona pandemic offers the tremendous opportunity to rebuild the economy on a truly sustainable, climate-neutral and resource-saving basis. As dynamic economic regions, we will therefore support the EU Commission in its initiatives on the Green Deal, but we will also urge to ensure that it really does provide new impetus.”

Regional governments are at the forefront of the response to the emergency, the same applies to the recovery measures, having the same innovative and sustainable approach towards the challenge of climate change.

“Deliver a green recovery should be our responsible and comprehensive response to this crisis. This should include a package of investments and measures to assist business and SMES for accelerating the decarbonisation of mobility, the energy transition and the achieve of the circularity of our economies. Territories such of the 4ME should present to the European Commission our joint proposals and should be seen as key players in this endeavour” Damià Calvet, Minister of Territory and Sustainability of Catalonia, declared.

The Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, Energy of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes also confirmed the interest and support of the Region in engaging in this enhanced cooperation.

Through the partnership of the Four Motors for Europe, regions are making concrete proposals to the EU institutions to strengthen the recovery plan by means of sustainable measures while working also with the respective stakeholders to identify the best green options. 

The Ministers agree that “the relaunch the economy needs new sustainable solutions since the main goal can’t be a return to the past, but a race towards the future”