Among the European Commission’s plans is a carbon border, ensuring companies cannot evade carbon taxes by outsourcing their emissions.
New European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled Europe’s Green Deal on Wednesday, a package of 50 far-reaching policy ideas that are still missing many key details, calling it a “man on the moon moment” for Europe.
The package of measures would see climate action woven across all the EU’s policy areas, and is as much of an economic policy as it is a climate or energy proposal.
The Green Deal is the first political act from the new European Commission, which was confirmed last month and serves as the European Union’s executive branch. Having had just 10 days to work on the package, it remains in skeletal form, but crucially the commission has set a timeline for detailing the many complex and overlapping policies.
Within 100 days, the commission will present a new climate law designed to lock in the continent’s commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050. The current target for 2030 is a 40 percent emissions reduction, up from an original 27 percent.
“Today is the start of the journey,” said von der Leyen. “This is Europe’s ‘man on the moon moment.’ The European Green Deal is very ambitious but it will also be very careful about assessing the impact of every step we are taking.”
- A “Just Transition Fund” to make sure vulnerable sectors and regions are not negatively impacted by the changes.
- A financing plan to be presented in 2020 aimed at unlocking the additional €260 billion ($288 billion) required for the transition.
- A dedicated offshore wind plan, also to come in 2020. The European Commission has already begun work examining the viability of deploying 450 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2050.
- Carbon capture, utilization and sequestration; hydrogen infrastructure; and energy storage will also receive support to reach commercialization.
“Our goal is to reconcile our economy with our planet and to make it work for our people,” she said. “On one hand, it’s about cutting emissions; on the other, it’s about creating jobs and boosting innovation.”
“I’m convinced the old growth model based on fossil fuels and pollution is out of date and out of touch with our planet. The European Green Deal is our new growth strategy,” she said.