Headline: The European Green Deal and the limits of ecological modernisation

With the European Green Deal (EGD), the European Commission presented an ambitious roadmap for accelerated “ecological modernisation” in December 2019. Semantically, the EGD is linked to the New Deal and the debates surrounding the Green New Deal. In contrast, the European Commission’s strategy aims less at profound social change and the questioning of social power relations. Rather, the EGD remains largely within the leitmotif of “ecological modernisation”, which relies on technological innovations without far-reaching social change. The thrust of the EGD bears the hallmark of ecological modernisation; it is about reconciling economy and ecology, about continuing the growth path under green auspices. The greening of the EU is to take place primarily by means of technological innovations. Amongst others, clean hydrogen and carbon dioxide removals (CDR) are central pillars to reach the aim of climate neutrality by 2050. Technological improvements are closely linked to the aim of improving the competitiveness of the European economy and stabilising global power relations under a green mantle. Such a strategy runs the risk of renewing social inequalities within the EU as well as globally. In addition, the war in Ukraine raises further problems for the fulfilment of the EGD.

Publication Year
Publication Type
Academic Articles

Haas, T., Syrovatka, F., & Jürgen, I. (2022). The European Green Deal and the limits of ecological modernisation. Culture, Practice & Europeanization, 7(2), 247-261. doi:10.5771/2566-7742-2022-2-247.

Staff involved
Projects involved
CO2 Removal Synthesis and Transfer Project (CDRSynTra)