The core elements are as follows: increasing the reduction target from 50 to 55% by the year 2030, and achieving carbon neutrality by the year 2050, accompanied by massive changes in the agricultural, energy, industry and transport sectors. Greater economic investments are to be made towards generating innovation, international collaboration, and environmentally-friendly technologies. Furthermore, consumers will play a bigger role in the energy transition.
“By serving as a model of sustainability and competitiveness for the rest of the world, we will also spur on other countries to follow suit,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after announcing the Green Deal. “It shows how we will need to change how we live, work, produce, and consume in order to live more healthily and make our companies more innovative.”
A climate-neutral Europe without environmental pollution
A climate-neutral Europe is the overarching goal of the Green Deal. Net zero greenhouse gas emissions are to be achieved by 2050. Greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced by 50 to 55 percent by 2030, instead of the previous 40 percent. The 55 percent figure is to be subjected to a cost-benefit analysis. A “pollution-free environment” is also to be achieved by 2050. In order to fairly implement the energy transition, special support is to be given to regions that are currently still dependent on fossil fuels and coal production. For cars, emissions of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre are to be achieved by 2021.
“From farm to table”
A new agricultural strategy aims at a “greener and healthier” agricultural system, which requires a significant reduction in chemical pesticides, fertilizers and antibiotics. 40% of the agricultural budget is be put towards climate protection and 30% of the funds from the Maritime and Fisheries Fund. The EU Commission also intends to take stronger action against food fraud. Food imported from third countries will need to meet EU environmental standards. The EU would also like to set a good example in terms of biodiversity.
European hydrogen economy
The EU Commission hopes to create 140,000 jobs by 2030 by establishing a hydrogen economy, and estimates market volume at up to 140 billion euros. Between 2030 and 2050, hydrogen is to establish itself as an important component of the energy supply.&60; For this purpose, there will be “Hydrogen Valleys” as part of the European Hydrogen Valleys Partnership, an umbrella association which comprises more than 30 regions in 13 European countries, for example in the North Sea region (Northern Germany, Northern Netherlands, Scotland and Scandinavia).