(ed/Céline Merz, Linz am Rhein) On 11th December 2019, the European Commission presented the European Green Deal, a growth strategy with the objective of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, and at the same time boosting the economy and improving people’s health. The European Green Deal covers all sectors of the economy, notably transport, energy, agriculture, buildings, and industries.
Climate action initiatives under the Green Deal
Pursuing green finance and investment and ensuring a just transition
To achieve the ambition set by the European Green Deal, there are significant investment needs. On 14th January 2020, the Commission presented the European Green Deal Investment Plan together with the Just Transition Mechanism https://bit.ly/332tOCU. The aim is to mobilise public investment and help to unlock private funds through EU financial instruments. The Just Transition Mechanism will provide tailored financial and practical support to help the regions that will undergo a profound economic and social transformation.
Increasing the EU’s climate ambition for 2030 and 2050
On 4th March 2020, the Commission proposed the first European Climate Law https://bit.ly/32VaEiy to achieve a climate neutral EU by 2050. The EU institutions and Member States are bound to take the necessary measures at EU and national levels to meet the target. An agreement on the climate law was reached by the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on 21st April 2021.
Preserving and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity
On 20th May 2020, the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 https://bit.ly/3t8U9u0 to protect the fragile natural resources of the planet was presented. The new strategy tackles the key drivers of biodiversity loss, such as unsustainable use of land and sea, overexploitation of natural resources, pollution, and invasive alien species.
A fair and healthy food system
The Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system https://bit.ly/3t8U9u0 adopted on 20th March will strengthen the efforts of European farmers and fisherman to tackle climate change, protect the environment and preserve biodiversity. It will aim to significantly reduce the use and risk of chemical pesticides, as well as the use of fertilisers and antibiotics.
Supplying clean, affordable and secure energy
Further decarbonising the energy system is critical to reach climate objectives in 2030 and 2050. Energy efficiency and renewable sources must be prioritised and complemented by the rapid phasing out of coal and decarbonising gas. On 7th July 2020, the Commission presented an EU Strategy for Energy System Integration https://bit.ly/3e0sDdv providing the framework for the green energy transition.
A zero-pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment
To protect Europe’s citizens and ecosystems, the EU needs to better monitor, report, prevent and remedy pollution from air, water, soil, and consumer products. On 14th October 2020, the Commission adopted the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability https://bit.ly/3e3JwUE to boost innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals and increase protection of human health and the environment against hazardous chemicals.
Accelerating the shift to sustainable and smart mobility
Transport accounts for a quarter of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions and is still growing. To achieve climate neutrality, a 90% reduction in transport emissions is needed by 2050. The Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy https://bit.ly/3vuqhd2, which was presented on 9th December 2020 together with an Action Plan of 82 initiatives, will ensure that the EU transport system stays on track in its development towards a smart and sustainable future.
“Our goal is to reconcile the economy with our planet, to reconcile the way we produce and the way we consume with our planet and to make it work for our people.“
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, 11.12.1019