This chapter focuses on two United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to measure the impact of Covid 19 on the sustainability efforts in the Emerging European Economies (EEE). These goals are: SDG7 Affordable and Clean Energy, and SDG13 ClimateAction. Analyzing indices connected to both SDG7 and SDG13 a demonstrable perpetual weakness in energy and climate issues is being addressed. The results of our analysis show that the EEE were failing to improve their SDG7 and SDG13 in 2019. By 2020, Covid pushed the region further behind. Covid had a moderate negative impact on SDG7, but in the case of SDG13 the consequences are more uncertain. The European Union has set a 2050 target of carbon neutrality regarding the long-term goals, which means net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by this date. Based on historical trends, these targets will be missed unless new policies are implemented. Final energy consumption (TOE per capita) was higher in 2019 than in the prescribed 2020 targets adopted in 2012 (Eurostat, 2021). The failure to improve – that is to reduce energy consumption – demonstrates the overall lack of progress in decoupling economic growth from energy consumption. This chapter makes three key policy recommendations: 1) ’Creative carbon accounting’ cannot be a means to make the EEE ’succeed’ in their SDGs; 2) Economic growth must be decoupled from energy consumption; and 3) National and regional economic recovery plans must prioritize energy efficiency improvements (including for the poorest households), and renewable energy sources need to be framed in terms of resiliency for the environment and society.
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LaBelle, M.C., Szép, T. (2022). Green Economy: Energy, Environment, and Sustainability. In: Mátyás, L. (eds) Emerging European Economies after the Pandemic. Contributions to Economics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-93963-2_7
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Online ISBN: 978-3-030-93963-2
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