The EU Commission’s International Partnerships Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen’s first responsibility is to build inclusive and equitable partnerships to reduce global poverty and support sustainable development. This paper, undersigned by 14 NGOs, considers how she can use the European Green Deal to address the climate and biodiversity emergencies while better supporting people living in poverty in the Global South. 

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Making the European Green Deal Work for International Partnerships

NGO Briefing

This paper responds to the European Commission’s Communication and sets out guiding principles and policy recommendations for Commissioner Urpilainen, to ensure the European Green Deal delivers for people in the EU’s partner countries, the climate and biodiversity.

Climate change and nature loss disproportionately affect those least responsible for causing it: the world’s poorest 20%, most of whom are women, are responsible for less than 3% of global emissions. Impacts of climate change are placing and will place severe burdens on the poorest countries. That is why ensuring equity is so important. Countries with a higher historical responsibility for and with greater capacity to act against climate change should do more, and Commissioner Urpilainen must ensure the European Green Deal scales up support for the most vulnerable in partner countries. 

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European Green Deal Must Strengthen Partner Countries’ Recovery from the COVID-19 Crisis


The group of NGOS also released an annex statement on the EU’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. The statement welcomes EU leadership in supporting partner countries’ efforts to fight the pandemic. But in the short term, the EU needs to prioritize the needs of local communities, vulnerable groups and those on the frontlines of the pandemic in partner countries. It must also ensure that transparency, inclusiveness, and equity guide all efforts.