The first priority of the Commission is to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent. Climate change and environmental-related challenges are an existential threat to the world. One million of the eight million species on the planet are at risk of being lost. Forests and oceans are being polluted and destroyed. The European Green Deal is the EU’s plan to the make the Union’s economy sustainable. It is a new growth strategy that will transform the European Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy. At the same time, this transition process must be just and inclusive for all.
The European Green Deal provides an action plan to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy and to restore biodiversity and cut pollution. The plan outlines investments needed and financing tools available.
New technologies, sustainable solutions and disruptive innovation are critical to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal. To keep its competitive advantage in clean technologies, the EU needs to significantly increase the large-scale deployment and demonstration of new technologies across sectors and across the single market, building new innovative value chains. Further decarbonising the energy system is critical to reach climate objectives in 2030 and 2050. The production and use of energy across economic sectors account for more than 75 % of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency must be prioritised. A power sector must be developed that is based largely on renewable sources, complemented by the rapid phasing out of coal and decarbonising gas.
The EU will provide financial support and technical assistance to help those that are most affected by the move towards the green economy. This is called the Just Transition Mechanism. It will help mobilise at least € 100 billion over the period 2021-2027 in the most affected regions.
European Climate Law
With the European Climate Law the Commission proposed a legally binding target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Reaching this target will require action by all sectors of our economy:
- investing in environmentally-friendly technologies
- supporting industry to innovate
- rolling out cleaner, cheaper and healthier forms of private and public transport
- decarbonising the energy sector
- ensuring buildings are more energy efficient
- working with international partners to improve global environmental standards
The Climate Law includes measures to keep track of progress and adjust our actions accordingly. It also tasks the Commission to review existing policies and Union legislation in view of their consistency with the climate-neutrality objective as well as with the trajectory identified.