The European Green Deal is a set of policy initiatives brought forward by the European Commission with the overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral in 2050. An impact assessed plan will also be presented to increase the EU’s greenhouse gas emission reductions target for 2030 to at least 50% and towards 55% compared with 1990 levels. The plan is to review each existing law on its climate merits, and also introduce new legislation on the circular economy, building renovation, biodiversity, farming and innovation.
On 13 December 2019, the European Council decided to press ahead with the plan, with an opt-out for Poland. On 15 January 2020 the European Parliament voted to support the deal as well, with requests for higher ambition.
The plan includes potential carbon tariffs for countries that don’t curtail their greenhouse gas pollution at the same rate. It also includes:
- a circular economy action plan;
- a review and possible revision (where needed) of the all relevant climate-related policy instruments, including the Emissions Trading System;
- a Farm to Fork strategy along with a focus shift from compliance to performance (which will reward farmers for managing and storing carbon in the soil, improved nutrient management, reducing emissions, …);
- a revision of the Energy Taxation Directive which is looking closely at fossil fuel subsidies and tax exemptions (aviation, shipping);
- a sustainable and smart mobility strategy and an EU forest strategy. The latter will have as its key objectives effective afforestation, and forest preservation and restoration in Europe.
It also leans on Horizon Europe, to play a pivotal role in leveraging national public and private investments. Through partnerships with industry and member States, it will support research and innovation on transport technologies, including batteries, clean hydrogen, low-carbon steel making, circular bio-based sectors and the built environment