On December 11th 2019, the European Commission presented the Communication COM (2019) 640 final on “EU Green Deal“, the first step toward the EU Environmental Law.
The “EU Green Deal” is essentially a roadmap for making the EU’s economy more sustainable. The “EU Green Deal” aims to transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy.
President of the European Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen then stated that “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”.
Additionally, it should be underlined that according to the European Commission, the EU Green Deal “is also our lifeline out of the COVID-19 pandemic“.
What is the EU Green Deal?
The ultimate goal of the policies and actions of the EU Green Deal is the Europe Climate Neutral by 2050. It implies that Global Greenhouse emissions should be reduced by up 90% for that date. (Claudia Kemfert, 2019)
The “EU Green Deal” is undoubtedly a concrete way for turning climate change and environmental problems into opportunities.
The EU Green Deal Communication introduces key policies and measures needed to achieve the “EU Green Deal“.
Besides, the European Commission in the same Communication is underlining that “to deliver the European Green Deal, there is a need to rethink policies for clean energy supply across the economy, industry, production, and consumption, large-scale infrastructure, transport, food and agriculture, construction, taxation, and social benefits. To achieve these aims, it is essential to increase the value given to protecting and restoring natural ecosystems, to the sustainable use of resources and to improve human health“.
Finally, The “EU Green Deal” is an integral part of this Commission’s strategy to implement the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda, sustainable development goals, and other priorities announced in President von der Leyen’s political guidelines.
To reach Climate Neutral in 2050, the European Union is carrying several initiatives to protect the environment and boost the Green Economy.
First of all, the European Union is investing in a Climate Neutral and Circular Economy.
Implementing “Circular Economy” means turning “goods that are at the end of their service life into resources for others, closing loops in industrial ecosystems and minimizing waste”. (Walter R. Stahel, 2016)
Secondly, the European Commission presented the “European Climate Law” proposal regulation for transforming promises into legal obligations.
The European Commission Proposal for Regulation COM (2020) 80 final 2020/0036 (COD) on European Climate Law“aims to complement the existing policy framework by setting the long-term direction of travel and enshrining the 2050 climate-neutrality objective in EU law, enhancing adaptation efforts, establishing a process to set out and review a trajectory until 2050, regular assessment and a process in case of insufficient progress or inconsistencies“.
Other relevant European Union initiatives are, for instance, “EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030” and “From Farm to Fork“.
“From Farm to Fork” initiative aims to ensure “a healthier and more sustainable EU food system“.
The Policy areas cover Biodiversity and From Farm to Fork, already stated, and other sectors as Sustainable Agriculture, Clean Energy, Sustainable Industry, Sustainable Mobility, Eliminating Pollution, and Climate Action.
The European Union is implementing some “EU Green Deal” actions that are expected to produce a significant change in the next future (2021-2027), introducing key tools such as the “Just Transition Mechanism” (JTM).
The Just Transition Mechanism (JTM) is a handy tool “to ensure that the transition towards a climate-neutral economy happens in a fair way, leaving no one behind“.
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