The European Green Deal Sets out How to Make Europe the First Climate-Neutral Continent by 2050

On December 11, the European Commission presented The
European Green Deal
– a roadmap for making the EU's economy sustainable by
turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all
policy areas and making the transition just and inclusive for all.

President Ursula von der Leyen said: ‘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.
'

Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans added
‘We are in a climate
and environmental emergency. The European Green Deal is an opportunity to
improve the health and well-being of our people by transforming our economic
model. Our plan sets out how to cut emissions, restore the health of our
natural environment, protect our wildlife, create new economic opportunities,
and improve the quality of life of our citizens. We all have an important part
to play and every industry and country will be part of this transformation.
Moreover, our responsibility is to make sure that this transition is a just
transition, and that nobody is left behind as we deliver the European Green
Deal.'

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 European Green Deal 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
within 100 days the first ‘European Climate Law'. To reach our 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.

Meeting the objectives of the European Green Deal will
require significant
investment
. Achieving the current 2030 climate and energy
targets is estimated to require €260 billion of additional annual investment,
representing about 1.5% of 2018 GDP. This investment will need the mobilisation
ofthe 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.

Fighting climate change and environmental degradation is a
common endeavour 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 programmes 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.

The global challenges of climate change and environmental
degradation require a global response. The EU will continue to promote its
environmental goals and standards in the UN's Biodiversity and Climate
Conventions and reinforce its green diplomacy. The G7, G20, international
conventions, and bilateral relationships will be used to persuade others to
step up their efforts. The EU will also use trade policy to ensure
sustainability and it will build partnerships with its neighbours in the
Balkans and Africa to help them with their own transitions.

Next
steps

The Commission invites the European Parliament and the
European Council to endorse the Commission's ambition for Europe's future
economy and the environment and to help realise it. The Commission will bring
forward the measures announced in the European Green Deal roadmap.

Background

Climate change and environmental degradation present an
existential threat to Europe and the world. To overcome this challenge, 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, where economic growth is decoupled from resource use
and where no one and no place is left behind.

The European Union already has a strong track record in
reducing its emissions of greenhouse gases while maintaining economic growth.
Emissions in 2018 were 23% lower than in 1990 while the Union's GDP grew by 61%
in
the same period
. But more needs to be done. The EU,
given its extensive experience, is leading the way in creating a green and
inclusive economy.

The Green Deal Communication sets the path for action in
the months and years ahead. The Commission's future work will be guided by the
public's demand for action and by undeniable scientific evidence as
demonstrated most comprehensively by IPCC, IPBES, Global Resources Outlook and
EEA SOER 2019 reports. Our proposals will be evidence-based and underpinned by
broad consultation.

An overwhelming majority of Europeans consider that
protecting the environment is important (95%). Almost 8 in 10 Europeans (77%)
say that protection of the environment can boost economic growth. The results
of the Eurobarometer survey concerning environmental attitudes of EU citizens
confirm the wide public support for environmental legislation at EU level and
EU funding for environmentally friendly activities.

For
More information

President von der Leyen's Political
Guidelines
.

Communication
on The European Green Deal

The
European environment – state and outlook 2020 report by the European
Environment Agency

Q&A/19/6690

Factsheets

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