Reaching out for a sustainable future: the EU Green Deal
Article issued by Ignace Schops, EUROPARC President
A New Green Deal for Europe
Reaching out for a sustainable future. Yesterday, the EU-president Ursula von der Leyen and EU vice-president Frans Timmermans presented the EU New Green Deal in the EU Parliament. With this initiative, the European continent takes the global lead in a green transformation. The New Green Deal can be the game-changer that accelerates the urgent progress we need to stay in harmony with our planetary boundaries.
With the New Green Deal, the EU installs a kind of “eco-check”, integrated into all the decision-making processes.
Energy, transport, agriculture, biodiversity, investments, waste, circular economy, air- soil- and water quality, … whatever topic is raised it needs to serve the 2050 carbon neutrality objective!
The transformation will be unprecedented: planting 2 billion trees and implementing a new biodiversity strategy. The polluter pays principle will be activated, the production of steel will need to be climate neutral by 2030, an EU carbon tax will be installed, the shipping and aviation sector will be transformed and integrated into the emission trade system, mobility systems will be electrified, and many other measures will be taken.
An important condition is the social inclusion, nobody is excluded and needs to benefit from the deal. A “Just Transition Mechanism” – with 100 billion euro – will help regions to phase-out their fossil fuel dependency and convert them towards carbon neutrality by 2050.
The roadbook to carbon neutrality in 2050 will be aligned with new checkpoints. A new EU carbon emissions reduction plan will be installed based on the Paris Agreement and the recent IPCC outcomes. The planned carbon reduction of -40% by 2030 will be adjusted to -50% or even -55%. The European Investment Bank will become the European Climate Bank and an EU climate law is a real ambition!
Not every state, not every stakeholder and not every European inhabitant is yet convinced. EUROPARC Federation is strongly convinced the New Green Deal is our life-line to a sustainable future. If we want clean air and drinkable water for everyone. If we want a biodiverse and climate-neutral society. If we believe in justice and solidarity and if we would like to give a perspective to the future generations, we need to give our full support to the EU’s New Green Deal.
Because we cannot destroy what keeps us alive!
… I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!