The European Green Deal

The European Green Deal is a strategic priority first outlined 2019, in communication (COM(2019)640). It sets out a detailed vision to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and includes an initial roadmap of the key policies and measures needed to achieve the European Green Deal.

Measures include measures from cutting greenhouse gas emissions, to investing in cutting-edge research and innovation, to preserving Europe’s natural environment.

In September 2020, President von der Leyen announced the new 55 % EU emission reduction target for 2030, a revision of the EU's climate and energy legislation by June 2021, and targets for the NextGenerationEU recovery fund.

By 2050, Europe aims to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent. The Commission will propose a new EU ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Elements of the New Green Deal

First climate action initiatives under the Green Deal include:

  • European Climate Law (adopted on 4 March 2020), with target for 2050. The law will enshrine the EU’s 2030 and 2050 climate targets into law.
  • European Climate Pact to engage citizens and all parts of society in climate action
  • 2030 Climate Target Plan to further reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, with strategic measures to fulfil this goal in the 'Fit for 55package (se below).

The Fit for 55 package

On 14 July 2021 the the European Commission presented the 'Fit for 55package, aiming to enable the EU to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and achieve climate neutrality in 2050.

The ‘Fit for 55’ package aims to translate the ambitions of the Green Deal into law and propsed reforms to several policies such as:

Industrial strategy

The European Green Deal is aligned with a new industrial strategy (adopted in 2020) aiming to make the EU a world leader in the circular economy and clean technologies, and to decarbonise energy-intensive industries.

Circular Economy Acton Plan

Circular Economy Action Plan  (adopted in March 2020) aims to promote the sustainable use of resources, especially in resource-intensive sectors with high environmental impact, such as textiles and construction.


Another key  of the EU Green Deal objective is mainstreaming biodiversity across all policy areas and a Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 (adopted in 2020).

Renovation Wave

Other elements of the European Green Deal include the EU’s zero-pollution ambition to safeguard citizens' health, a ‘renovation wave’ for the building sector.

Aligning action in all areas

Other actions to be aligned to the EU Green Deal include:

  • The Emissions Trading System (ETS) to be extended to the maritime sector
  • The free allowances allocated to airlines would be reduced over time.
  • A further extension to cover traffic and construction is envisaged.
  • Pricing of carbon emissions is mentioned as a key element to ensure the contribution of every person and every sector.

New EU Strategy

The new strategy on adaptation to climate change was adopted in February 2021 and aims to strengthen efforts on climate-proofing, resilience building, prevention and preparedness, to ensure the integration of climate change into risk management practices.

View more on the page on Financing the EU Green Deal.