The European Green Deal

The European Green Deal is a strategic priority first outlined in the political guidelines of Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, who is in charge of leading and coordinating the work on the European Green Deal.

On 11 December 2019, the Commission presented a communication (COM(2019)640) on the European Green Deal that sets out a detailed vision to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The Communication, which will be updated as needs evolve and the policy responses are formulated.  presents an initial roadmap of the key policies and measures needed to achieve the European Green Deal.

Measures include a range 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:

By June 2021, the Commission will also review and, where necessary, propose to revise all relevant policy instruments to deliver additional greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Pricing of carbon emissions is mentioned as a key element to ensure the contribution of every person and every sector.

Climate targets

The Commission President aims to put forward a comprehensive, responsible plan to increase the European Union's emissions reduction target for 2030, from 40 % to 55 % (adopted in September 2020).

With the “Fit for 55” package, the European Commission will propose reforms to a wide range of policies to deliver on the new 2030 climate target of “at least 55%”. 

The package will revise all flagship climate and energy policies such as the Effort Sharing Regulation, the EU Emissions Trading System, as well as the Renewable Energy and the Energy Efficiency Directives. It also includes the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive and Revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

The Commission will propose a new EU ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

European Climate Pact

A European Climate Pact (launched in December 2020) aims to bring together regional and local authorities, civil society, industry and schools to agree on commitments to change behaviour.

Industrial strategy

The European Green Deal would be 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

A new 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.

Biodiversity

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) would 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.