Europe aspires to become world’s first climate-neutral continent

The EU Commission has presented a roadmap for making the EU’s economy more sustainable and circular, which includes dedicating at least 25% of the EU’s budget towards climate action. The goal is to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Last week, the EU Commission presented the European Green Deal, a roadmap for making the EU’s economy sustainable. The green deal covers all sectors of the economy: transport, energy, agriculture, buildings and industries such as steel, cement, ICT, textiles and chemicals. The roadmap contains specific actions to stop climate change, revert biodiversity loss and cut pollution, and transform into a clean, circular economy.

In a first step toward becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050, the EU Commission announced that it will present the first ‘European Climate Law’ within the next 100 days. Work will begin immediately on upping Europe’s 2030 emission targets of reducing carbon emissions by 50%.

The roadmap also includes a carbon-equalization mechanism to support those regions that rely heavily on carbon-intensive activities and help citizens most vulnerable to the transition by providing them access to reskilling programmes and employment opportunities in new economic sectors.

The EU Commission estimates that the European Green Deal will require around €260 billion of additional investments per year to meet these targets, which will involve the mobilization of both the public and private sectors. At least 25% of the EU’s long-term budget should be dedicated to climate action, with further support coming from the European Investment Bank.

According to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the economy and sustainability go hand-in-hand.

“The European Green Deal is our new growth strategy – for a growth that gives back more than it takes away,” von der Leyen said. “We will help our economy to be a global leader by moving first and moving fast.”

Image credit: S. Hermann & F. Richter via Pixabay

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