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Viral Crisis Puts Europe’s Green Deal Ambitions to Shock Test

  • Economic woes may overshadow EU plan to toughen climate goals
  • European fiscal stimulus may be litmus test for green apetite
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg meets with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on March 4, 2020. 

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg meets with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on March 4, 2020. 

Photographer: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The economic shocks coming from the coronavirus outbreak are likely to push European Union’s green ambitions down the political agenda.

The project to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent requires an unprecedented overhaul of the economy and energy system that will take years. That’s up against immediate risks to public health and the risk of a deep recession.