Brussels – The European Commission has today outlined its vision for a European Green Deal for the EU and its citizens.
The Green Deal promises to be Europe’s largest ever climate programme and will set Europe on the track to being the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
The Communication sets out actions to be implemented under several priority areas:
A European Climate Law will make carbon neutrality by 2050 a legal target. The Commission proposes to raise the ambition of the 2030 targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency to help accelerate the transition this decade.
Clean, affordable and secure energy
The Commission will launch a ‘Renovation Wave Initiative’ for the building sector, in addition to a evaluating the Trans-Europe Network – Energy Regulation, and a strategy on offshore wind.
Industrial strategy for a clean and circular economy
An EU Industrial Strategy and a new Circular Economy Action Plan will be published in Spring 2020, focusing especially on textiles, construction, electronics and plastics. By the end of 2020, proposals will be published to revise existing waste regulations.
Sustainable and smart mobility
A new strategy for sustainable and smart mobility will be adopted, and a funding call to support the deployment of public recharging and refuelling points as part of alternative fuel infrastructure.
Greening the Common Agricultural Policy
A ‘Farm to Fork Strategy’ will include legislative measures on chemical pesticides, fertilisers and antibiotics, and circular economy principles will be supported.
Preserving and protecting ecosystems and biodiversity
The Biodiversity Strategy will be updated by March 2020 and a new EU Forest Strategy by the end of the year.
Towards a zero-pollution ambition for a toxic free environment
A zero-pollution action plan for water, air and soil will be drafted for release in 2021, following a chemicals strategy for sustainability in summer 2020.
Mainstreaming sustainability in all EU policies
In January 2020, the Commission will publish a proposal for a Just Transition Mechanism, comprising a Just Transition Fund and a Sustainable Europe Investment Plan. The European Investment Bank will aim to target 50% of its investments into climate-friendly activities.
Mobilising research and fostering innovation
Horizon Europe will target 35% of its budget towards new solutions that can support the Green Deal. Four ‘Green Deal Missions’ will be established:
- Adaptation to climate change including societal transformation
- Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters
- Climate-neutral and smart cities
- Soil health and food
Partnerships with industry will support research in transport (including batteries), clean hydrogen, low-carbon steelmaking, circular bio-based sectors and the built environment. Communities run by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIIT) will continue, and the new European Innovation Council will support highly innovative SMEs.
A European Climate Pact
A new European Climate Pact will be launched in March 2020, to engage with the public and industry, and build citizen-level support for the transition. An 8th Environmental Action Programme will be proposed in 2020.