On 16 December 2020, the anniversary of the presentation of the Green Deal, the European Climate Pact was published, and almost totally ignored by the media. Being curious by nature, we asked ourselves what the difference is between Pact and Deal and came to the conclusion that they are in effect synonyms: both mean a reciprocal commitment based on a convention or an agreement between two or more people or parties.
So why a new pact now, and who is it between?
This is not a political document, but a “call to arms”.
In Europe, as elsewhere, public attention and pressure to safeguard the planet have fallen as a result of Covid-19. But it is essential to keep interest levels high. The Pact is asking for precisely this: spreading awareness and supporting action to combat climate change.
“We need to work together to tackle climate change and environmental degradation and to grasp the opportunities arising from decisive action and sustainable lifestyles.
The Pact will connect people and organisations from all walks of life to: improve our understanding of climate and environmental challenges; develop solutions big and small; find ways to influence and change behaviours; trigger and scale-up positive change.
We are not starting from scratch. The Climate Pact wants to provide a fertile ground to existing initiatives, networks and movements that have already begun to revolutionise the approach to climate action in Europe.”
In other words, without the direct involvement of European citizens EU institutions on their own will not succeed in changing the current inertia and resistance from the lobby groups and responsible administrative bodies. For this reason the Pact is addressed directly to citizens rather than seeking a new agreement among EU member States. “Citizens who must be aware of their role as citizens rather than consumers” become ambassadors for the Climate Pact. The launch video gives further details of what is proposed.