Transition to Green Deal in Lithuania: jump starting or going at turtle speed?
The Green Deal is a tool for achieving international commitments, such as Sustainable Development Goals under the Paris Climate Change Agreement, in the European Union. The European Green Deal presented by the European Commission in December 2019 aims to decouple the Community’s economic growth from resource use and to ensure leaving no one behind. In addition to climate change, the Green Deal also addresses biodiversity conservation and restoration, raising awareness of the environmental axis of the Green Deal and addressing the inherent nexus of climate change and biodiversity at political level. In response to the lack of Green Deal monitoring studies in Lithuania, this paper aims to cover the implementation of the green agenda in the country. The study provides an analytical approach to sustainability transition that allows the implementation of the Green Deal to be seen as a transition from unsustainable practices and structures to sustainable ones that will ensure long-term transformational change. The situation was first analysed using an analytical tool in the six main sectors of the Green Deal, namely energy, nature conservation, industry, renovation, transport and agriculture. The situation in the core systems was used to review the overall state of Green Deal implementation in Lithuania. The study found that the key elements of sustainability, namely the environmental, economic and social elements, are unevenly coordinated in policy-making across the different sectors of the Green Deal. The environmental axis of sustainability is often understood in the narrow sense, i.e. as climate change management, but not through the natural nexus of climate change and biodiversity. In Lithuania, the implementation of the Green Deal is strongly influenced by the requirements and funding provided by the EU institutions. Lithuania lacks a clear and autonomous green policy and its potential is still untapped. Nevertheless, there is an awareness of the importance of the Green Deal at the institutional level, and the strategy papers set out the main objectives and the measures to implement them. In the core systems, a lot of resources are still being devoted to improving unsustainable practices and optimising the system. There is a lot of chaos, but at the same time there are positive signs of experimentation with sustainable alternatives and their gradual establishment, which is conducive to the implementation of the green agenda. In order to improve the existing level of implementation, recommendations are made and three possible scenarios for further implementation of the Green Deal are presented: − passive greening or ‘movement at turtle speed’; − advanced greening or ‘jumpstarting; − regressive greening or ‘the lost sheep’.
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Committee for the Future of the Seimas (CFF-Lith)