European Green Deal unveiled
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has today unveiled a roadmap for making Europe the world’s first carbon-neutral continent by 2050.
The ‘European Green Deal’ intends to boost the efficient use of natural resources by moving to a circular economy, halt climate change, reverse biodiversity loss and cut pollution.
It covers all sectors of the economy, and a new European climate law will be presented within 100 days to set into legislation the ambition for carbon neutrality.
Von der Leyen described the green deal as “Europe’s man on the moon moment”, and said that it would begin the journey towards aligning the economy with the planet.
"I am convinced that the old growth model that is based on fossil fuels and pollution is out of date, and it is out of touch with our planet," she continued.
"European citizens are changing their lifestyle to help protect the climate and the planet. Therefore, our European Green Deal tells them that Europe is at their side."
A massive 95% of Europeans think that protecting the environment is important, according to a Eurobarometer survey, while 77% say it can boost economic growth.
The commission said that achieving the European Green Deal would require significant investment, and that it would unveil a ‘Sustainable Europe Investment Plan’ early next year.
And in March 2020, it will launch a ‘Climate Pact' to give citizens a role in designing new actions, sharing information, launching grassroots activities and showcasing new solutions.
A 'Biodiversity Strategy' for 2030, new 'Industrial Strategy and Circular Economy Action Plan', 'Farm to Fork Strategy', and proposals for cutting pollution, will also be proposed.
“We are determined to succeed for the sake of this planet and life on it, for Europe's natural heritage, for biodiversity, for our forests and our seas,” von der Leyen said.
“By showing the rest of the world how to be sustainable and competitive, we can convince other countries to move with us.”
The European Green Deal still needs to be signed off by the European Parliament and European Council before it can be formally adopted.
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Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM