EU Commission unveils ‘European Green Deal’: The key points

(EurActiv, 11 Dec 2019) The European Commission unveiled its hotly anticipated European Green Deal on Wednesday (11 October), outlining a long list of policy initiatives aimed at putting Europe on track to reach net-zero global warming emissions by 2050.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined the European Green Deal today (11 December), vowing to “leave no-one behind” in the race to achieve a climate neutral economy by 2050.

“This is Europe’s man on the moon moment,” she said in a video statement. “Our goal is to reconcile the economy with our planet” and “to make it work for our people,” she added, describing climate policy as Europe’s new growth strategy.

Europe wants to be a front-runner in climate friendly industries and clean technologies, the former German defence minister explained, adding: “I am convinced that the old growth model based on fossil fuels and pollution is out of date and out of touch with our planet”.

Here are the 10 main points in the Commission plan:

1. ‘Climate neutral’ Europe. This is the overarching objective of the European Green Deal. The EU will aim to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a goal that will be enshrined in a ‘Climate Law’ to be presented in March 2020.

That means updating the EU’s climate ambition for 2030, with a 50-55% cut in greenhouse gas emissions to replace the current 40% objective. The 55% figure will be subject to a cost-benefit analysis.

The Commission wants to leave no stone unturned and plans to review every EU law and regulation in order to align them with the new climate goals. This will start with the Renewable Energy Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive, but also the Emissions Trading Directive and the Effort Sharing Regulation, as well as the infamous LULUCF directive dealing with land use change. Proposals there will be submitted as part of a package in March 2021.

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EurActiv, 11 Dec 2019: EU Commission unveils ‘European Green Deal’: The key points