Climate change and environmental degradation are an existential threat to Europe and the world. To overcome these challenges, 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
- economic growth is decoupled from resource use
- no person and no place is left behind
In November 2019, the European parliament declared a climate and environmental emergency. A historic signal from MEPs that Europe is ready to change the course of the history. Parliament has been very vocal under this mandate to ask for enhanced the goals for 2030. And it is all about how to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050.
- The first thing is to enshrine in law that climate-neutrality goal so whoever is running the EU between now and 2050, zero carbon is the goal.
- Then the commission will propose raising the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions target for 2030. Today is 40%, but the plan is to make that 50-55 %. So, by 2030, the EU needs to cut emissions by up to 55 % compared to 1990. The EU may beef up other targets and legislation too, such as the 2030 renewable energy target which is currently 32 %.
- Other options might be to increase the price of CO2. To avoid unfair competition beyond EU borders, they are planning to create a border tax on certain imports from countries that are less ambitious on climate.
- A new EU Industrial Strategy is created. The Green Deal plans to decarbonize not only electricity but also transport, heating and industry. And to that end, there will be a “sector integration” plan.
- Also, the EU include a new strategy for offshore and onshore wind, focus on new approach on grid connections and maritime spatial planning.
The main target is to become climate-neutral by 2050, but it should be delivering by 2030 in order to achieve what is expected in 2050. The EU is focused on implementing the 2030 National Energy and Climate plans. And to help drive the whole energy transition and to ensure that it is a just transition, the EU commission has tabled a Sustainable Europe Investment Plan (100 € Trillion).
The European Green Deal is the roadmap for making the EU’s economy sustainable, with actions to:
- boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy
- restore biodiversity and cut pollution.
It outlines investments needed and financing tools available and explains how to ensure a just and inclusive transition.
The EU will be climate neutral in 2050. To do this, it is proposed a European Climate Law turning the political commitment into a legal obligation and a trigger for investment.
Reaching this target will require action by all sectors of our economy, including
- investing in environmentally-friendly technologies
- supporting industry to innovate
- rolling out cleaner, cheaper, and healthier forms of private and public transport
- decarbonising the energy sector
- ensuring buildings are more energy efficient
- working with international partners to improve global environmental standards
The EU will also provide financial support and technical assistance to help people, businesses and regions that are most affected by the move towards the green economy. This is called the Just Transition Mechanism and will help mobilise at least €100 billion over the period 2021-2027 in the most affected regions.
The timeline that this plan is following is based on the specific beams of construction of a real sustainable economy:
|11 December 2019
|Kick-off: Presentation of the EU Green Deal
|14 January 2020
|European Green Deal Investment plan Just Transition Mechanism
|4 March 2020
|Proposal of a European Climate Law
|10 March 2020
|Adoption of the European Industrial Strategy
|11 March 2020
|Proposal of a circular Economy Action Plan
|20 May 2020
|EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030
|08 July 2020
|EU strategies for energy system integration and hydrogen
|Impact Assessment Plan to increase the EU 2030 climate target
|Strategy for smart sector integration Evaluation and review of the Trans-European Network Energy Regulation Strategy on offshore wind Lead markets initiative for climate neutral and circular products in energy intensive industrial sectors