We, the signatories of this Manifesto to decarbonize Europe, call upon all European States to immediately implement policies aiming to achieve a level of greenhouse gas emissions close to zero by 2050!
The Paris Climate Agreement urges Europe to completely reinvent its economy. Much – if not all – remains to be done. This challenge involves all sectors which remain heavily dependent on fossil fuels: industry and electricity generation, transport, building and agriculture, as well as (albeit more indirectly) the finance and insurance sectors and public policies.
Europe saw the birth of the first industrial revolution, which relied on coal and hydrocarbon. In 150 years, humanity has consumed nearly half of the amount of oil Nature took half a billion years to create. It is now imperative to build a future free of depletable energy sources, which are irrevocably degrading the climate.
Europe must lead the way to the next industrial revolution, the one that will take us beyond the era of fossil fuels. Europe stands to reap massive benefits from such a revolution. Coal and steel were at the heart of the European project when it was built after the Second World War. It can now regenerate itself to create a new world – one that is prosperous and sustainable. A world of peace.
Together we can create a post-carbon Europe. This fresh impetus can be a driving force for Europe itself and for the world, to prevent the living conditions on our planet from being ravaged forever.
We call upon all European actors – individuals, businesses and public authorities – to implement concrete and coherent strategies which can meet the challenge posed by climate change and the limits of natural resources. The European Union can and must take the necessary steps to align its actions with the ambitious and vital objective set out by the Paris Agreement. Success will only be achieved by working together towards this common goal, while respecting our differences which are a source of both solidarity and synergies. This historic endeavour will take shape thanks to Europe’s founding strengths: reason, freedom and boldness.
The technical and organizational solutions for this transition already exist; all that is now required is the European will to formulate political responses accordingly. These responses can quickly lead to a new economy, source of new profits, job opportunities and well-being. We acknowledge the fact that those answers require us to change our ways of producing, consuming but above all, thinking.
Are we going to give up because of the magnitude of this task?
We have the moral duty to act. We also have the necessary ambition.
Once again, Europe has a rendezvous with History. The challenge is huge? Good. Anticipating the inevitable is a triumph over the future. The scale of the undertaking is equivalent to everything that Europe has done since its creation. This challenge is the path to modernity.
The Shift Project, a non-profit organisation, isa French think-tank dedicated to informing and influencing the debate on energy transition in Europe :
The Shift Project is funded by European companies that want to make the energy transition their strategic priority, and benefits from French public support.
We owe our thanks to the entire team of the think tank The Shift Project since its creation, as well as the members of the association The Shifters. We also thank numerous experts who tirelessly reread, commented, criticized and provided the data that enabled the project to advance. Special thanks to : Alexis CAUZIT, Jean-Louis CLAUZIER, Anne-Laure DELAYE, David DESJARDINS, Bertrand GIVOIS, Arthur GRIMONPONT, Lilian LAURENT, Joseph MAUSSION, Mireille MARTINI, Jocelyn MLYNARZ, Thierry NOUAILLES, Laura PAPET, Valère PAUPELIN-HUCHARD, Camille ROSAY, Arnaud VENS.