The European Green DealEthical Energy & Climate News & Features
New roadmap to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 – ‘caring for nature and leaving no one behind'
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Published: 12 December 2019
This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod
The European Commission yesterday (11 Dec) presented The European Green Deal – a roadmap for making the EU’s economy sustainable by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all policy areas and making the transition ‘just and inclusive for all’.
The European Green Deal provides a roadmap with actions to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy and stop climate change, revert biodiversity loss and cut pollution.
It outlines investments needed and financing tools available, and explains how to ensure a just and inclusive transition.
The European Green Deal covers all sectors of the economy, notably transport, energy, agriculture, buildings and industries such as steel, cement, ICT, textiles and chemicals.
The European Climate Law
To set into legislation the political ambition of being the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050, within 100 days the Commission will present the first ‘European Climate Law’.
To reach our climate and environmental ambition, the Commission will also present the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the new Industrial Strategy and Circular Economy Action Plan, the Farm to Fork Strategy for sustainable food and proposals for pollution-free Europe.
Work will immediately start for upping Europe’s 2030 emissions targets, setting a realistic path to the 2050 goal.
‘The European Green Deal is our new growth strategy – for a growth that gives back more than it takes away. It shows how to transform our way of living and working, of producing and consuming so that we live healthier and make our businesses innovative. We can all be involved in the transition and we can all benefit from the opportunities. We will help our economy to be a global leader by moving first and moving fast. We are determined to succeed for the sake of this planet and life on it – for Europe’s natural heritage, for biodiversity, for our forests and our seas. By showing the rest of the world how to be sustainable and competitive, we can convince other countries to move with us.’
URSULA VON DER LEYEN
President of the European Commission
Budgeting for climate action
Meeting the objectives of the European Green Deal will require significant investment. Achieving the current 2030 climate and energy targets is estimated to require €260 billion of additional annual investment, representing about 1.5% of 2018 GDP.
This investment will need the mobilisation of the public and private sectors. In early 2020 the Commission will present a Sustainable Europe Investment Plan to help meet investment needs.
At least 25% of the EU’s long-term budget should be dedicated to climate action, and the European Investment Bank, Europe’s climate bank, will provide further support. For the private sector to contribute to financing the green transition, the Commission will present a Green Financing Strategy in 2020.
‘A Just Transition’
Fighting climate change and environmental degradation is a common endeavour but not all regions and Member States start from the same point.
A ‘Just Transition Mechanism’ will support those regions that rely heavily on very carbon-intensive activities. It will support the citizens most vulnerable to the transition, providing access to re-skilling programmes and employment opportunities in new economic sectors.
In March 2020, the Commission will launch a ‘Climate Pact’ to give citizens a voice and role in designing new actions, sharing information, launching grassroots activities and show-casing solutions that others can follow.
‘We are in a climate and environmental emergency. The European Green Deal is an opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of our people by transforming our economic model. Our plan sets out how to cut emissions, restore the health of our natural environment, protect our wildlife, create new economic opportunities, and improve the quality of life of our citizens. We all have an important part to play and every industry and country will be part of this transformation. Moreover, our responsibility is to make sure that this transition is a just transition, and that nobody is left behind as we deliver the European Green Deal.’
Executive vice-president of the European Commission
A global response to climate change
The global challenges of climate change and environmental degradation require a global response. The EU will continue to promote its environmental goals and standards in the UN’s Biodiversity and Climate Conventions.
The G7, G20, international conventions, and bilateral relationships ‘will be used to persuade others to step up their efforts’. The EU will also use trade policy to ensure sustainability and it will build partnerships with its neighbours in the Balkans and Africa to help them with their own transitions.
The Commission has invited the European Parliament and the European Council to endorse the Commission’s ambition for Europe’s future economy and the environment and to help realise it. The Commission will bring forward the measures announced in the European Green Deal roadmap.
Background to the Green Deal
Climate change and environmental degradation present an existential threat to Europe and the world.
To overcome this challenge, Europe needs a new growth strategy that transforms the Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, where economic growth is decoupled from resource use and where no one and no place is left behind.
An overwhelming majority of Europeans consider that protecting the environment is important (95%). Almost eight in 10 Europeans (77%) say that protection of the environment can boost economic growth.
The results of the Eurobarometer survey concerning environmental attitudes of EU citizens confirm the wide public support for environmental legislation at EU level and EU funding for environmentally friendly activities.
The Green Deal Communication sets the path for action in the months and years ahead. The Commission’s future work will be guided by the public’s demand for action and by undeniable scientific evidence as demonstrated most comprehensively by IPCC, IPBES, Global Resources Outlook and EEA SOER 2019 reports. The EC’s proposals will be evidence based and underpinned by broad consultation.