‘Green Deal’ wants Europe to be climate-neutral in 2050
Today, Ursula von der Leyen and Frans Timmermans, President and Vice-President of the European Commission, will present their ‘Green Deal’. Some policies and propositions have already leaked, we give a short overview of what is already known.
“The Green Deal is not the newest climate plan among so many,” confirms Timmermans, “it’s a real systemic shift.” The deal will be presented on Wednesday and has to be approved by the EU Parliament and the member states. The latter will be rather difficult is the estimation.
Where many people find the former EU regulations already draconic, the new Commission shows it has far higher goals. It wants the whole of Europe to be climate-neutral in 2050. And it wants this written in law.
This implies, for example, that the now planned reduction of CO2 emissions for 2030 of -40% probably has to increase to -55%. The consequences for the different member states are huge. Countries like Belgium will have to alter their climate policy completely; they can no longer try to save the cabbage and the goat.
Most important is the fact that 75% (!) of the actual road transport has to shift to water and rail before 2050. The energy taxation will be revised, and also planes and ships will be taxed.
Whereas many member states, including Belgium, are hesitating about road-pricing as a means to make a mobility shift, Europe will make it an obligation. The cost of pollution and congestion will be paid directly by the polluting source.
To promote biodiversity and have better air quality, the EU will plant two billion new trees. Pollution of air, water, and soil will not be tolerated anymore. The agrarian sector will have to change to a circular and more local economy. The use of pesticides will be severely monitored.
The European Commission also has high hopes concerning technological evolution. Capturing CO and CO2, cleaning exhaust gases, changing the energy production, promoting recycling, everything will be implemented to reach the goals.
European research programs will primarily focus on these topics, and a lot of money will be injected in all kinds of research institutes to progress as quickly as possible.
Not every member state has the necessary money to make this ‘quantum switch’ on its own. So there is a chance that ‘poorer’ states will block the plan. To avoid this, the EU is planning a ‘Just Transition Fund’ to support everybody who needs it.
How big this will be is not known yet. Still, only last week, Von der Leyen talked about 100 billion euros, in addition to the other 100 billion euros the European Investment Bank (EIB) is already foreseeing for ‘climate investments’ between now and 2030.