A month into office, new EU Commission President Ursula Von der Layen presented ‘the European Green Deal’; an ambitious strategy to transform Europe’s economy for a sustainable future.
Described in Brussels circles as being “as transformative as the Euro”, the Green Deal will frame every project, policy, regulation or investment decision made under Von der Layen’s commission.
So, what’s this deal about and what can we expect?
More Ambitious Climate Targets
Put simply, the Green Deal sets new, more ambitious climate targets while also decoupling economic growth from resource use. Critically, the Deal aims to ensure that the EU economy remains competitive during the green transition and that no groups of citizens, or sectors, are left behind.
As with any plan, delivery is key. To successfully transform the Europe into becoming more sustainable, much will depend on raising finance to stimulate investment, mobilise innovation and change how we heat our buildings, consume products, or transport people.
8 Core Areas
The Deal covers eight core areas:
- Increased climate targets for 2030 and 2050
- Supplying clean, affordable and secure energy
- Mobilising industry for a clean and circular economy
- Building in an energy and resource efficient way
- Shifting to sustainable and smart mobility
- ‘Farm to Fork’ environmentally friendly food systems
- Preserving eco systems and biodiversity
- Zero pollution and toxic free environments
A Just Transition
To meet its targets, the EU will be launching the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan (SEIP) and a Just Transition Mechanism. The EIB is set to re-position itself as a ‘climate bank’. Meanwhile, the SEIP aims to mobilise a €1 trillion fund, with at least 25% coming from the EU budget.
Furthermore, the Just Transition Fund will contain approx. €100 billion to support regions most exposed to transition challenges within each member state. Of this, circa €50 billion will come from the Commission and the balance from a public sector loan facility through the EIB.
The word from Brussels is clear: The future of Europe is a greener Europe; a Europe which cares about the environment and a world leader in sustainability. And so, it is incumbent on us all to make the most of this opportunity.