On 11 December the European Commission presented the European Green Deal – a roadmap for making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
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 initiative covers all sectors of the economy, notably transport, energy, agriculture, buildings, and industries such as steel, cement, ICT, textiles and chemicals.
To set into legislation the political ambition of being the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050, the Commission will present the first ‘European Climate Law’ within 100 days. To reach the 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.
€260 billions of additional annual investments
Meeting the objectives of the European Green Deal will require significant investments. Achieving the current 2030 climate and energy targets is estimated to require €260 billions of additional annual investments, representing about 1.5% of 2018 GDP. This investment will need the mobilisation of the public and private sectors. The Commission will present in early 2020 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 Mechanism
Fighting climate change and environmental degradation is a common endeavor 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 reskilling programs 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.
Read more about the Green Deal on the European Commission’s website.