Leading on innovation for a climate neutral Europe by 2050

(EurActiv, 10 Dec 2018) Innovation will be required across all sectors of the economy in order to steer Europe towards climate neutrality. This will also be good for the EU’s competitiveness, write Jakop Dalunde and Peter Sweatman.

Jakop Dalunde is a Swedish Member of the European Parliament for the Greens/EFA political group. Peter Sweatman is chief executive and founder of Climate Strategy, a consulting firm.

European leadership on climate change has been confirmed. The EU is the first significant economic bloc to commit to a climate neutral economy by 2050 as its fair contribution to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. This is not only ambitious but smart, as by acting early Europe can build competitive benefits for its enterprise and ensure a socially-fair transition.

Social justice and innovation sit at the core of Europe’s approach. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s says that the global economy should be ‘net-zero’ in terms of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and that only by doing this can we substantially reduce the risks of climate change to human society and the natural world. However, these risks fall unevenly on the different members of our society, and Europe’s long-term strategy seeks to address this directly.

Innovation will be required across all sectors of the economy in the transition to climate neutrality and this is good for European competitiveness. According to modelling by the European Climate Foundation, three-quarters of the emissions reductions that the EU needs to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 can be delivered by today’s commercially available solutions, if they are deployed at the scale needed.

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EurActiv, 10 Dec 2018: Leading on innovation for a climate neutral Europe by 2050