During a speech delivered by President von der Leyen at the conference of the parties under the UNFCCC for 2019 (COP 25), plans under the European Green Deal were announced.
The European Green Deal was described as Europe's new growth strategy and the overarching aim of the goal is for Europe to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. During the conference, President von der Leyen stated: "Our goal is to be the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. If we want to achieve that goal, we have to act now, we have to implement our policies now. Because we know that this transition needs a generational change."
The ambitious plan was underscored by three key thoughts;
- The European Green Deal is Europe's new growth strategy and will cut emissions while also creating jobs and improving quality of life. The Green Deal should be driven by investment in research, innovation and green technologies which will be supported by the delivery of a Sustainable Europe Investment Plan – which will support one trillion euros of investment over the next decade.
- In March 2020, the European Commission will propose the first-ever European Climate Law to make the transition to climate neutrality irreversible. The European Climate Law will include extending emission trading to all relevant sectors, clean, affordable and secure energy, the boosting of the circular economy, a farm-to-fork strategy as well as a biodiversity strategy.
- The transition must work for all and will require a Just Transition Fund to make sure that the EU is able to support those who will have to take a bigger step. The Fund will leverage public and private money, including with the help of the European Investment Bank that has committed itself to become Europe's Climate Bank.
One of the main policy areas under the European Green Deal is 'Sustainable mobility - Promoting more sustainable means of transport'. See the full details of this area here.
More details provided since the initial announcement state that the Commission will put forward, within 100 days of taking office, the first European Climate Law. Other measures include;
- The creation of a carbon border adjustment mechanism for selected sectors,
- Boosting energy efficiency by increasing renewable sources and rapidly phasing out coal and decarbonising gas,
- Decreasing or ending tax exemptions for aviation and maritime fuels,
- The creation of a €100 billion fund to boost green investment.
Europa FM radio station reports that Visegrád Group countries, mainly Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, but also Romania, might have doubts on the Green Deal given the huge investments they have to make to achieve the so-called Green Economy. Furthermore, România Actualități radio station reports that Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have raised objections to the draft document on the European Green Deal to be submitted for approval by EU leaders gathered at the European Summit in Brussels. The three countries argue that their economies cannot achieve the carbon-neutrality target by 2050 in the absence of financial support.
More information on the Green Deal can also be found using the following links;
- European Green Deal: Communication and factsheets
- Communication in (almost) all official languages
- European Green Deal: Q&A
- Political guidelines of the Commission 2019-2024
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