European Commission launches European Green Deal

12 December 2019

The European Green Deal, adopted on Wednesday 10 December, sets out how to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, boosting the economy, improving people's health and quality of life, caring for nature, and leaving no one behind.

Under the Paris climate agreement, the European Union had committed to curbing its emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The European Green Deal raises the 2030 target to 50 percent reductions and sets the 2050 target at climate neutrality.

The plan will be sent to the European Parliament and European Council for endorsement. Once the plan comes into force, the transition to a climate-neutral continent will be binding for the European Union’s 28 individual members.

The European Green Deal covers all sectors of the economy, notably transport, energy, agriculture, buildings, and industries such as steel, cement, ICT, textiles and chemicals. The European Green Deal Communication calls for public and private investments in nature-based solutions and support for businesses and other stakeholders in developing standardised natural capital accounting practices within the EU and internationally.

President Ursula von der Leyen said: ‘The European Green Deal is our new growth strategy – for a growth that gives back more than it takes away. It shows how to transform our way of living and working, of producing and consuming so that we live healthier and make our businesses innovative. We can all be involved in the transition and we can all benefit from the opportunities. We will help our economy to be a global leader by moving first and moving fast. 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. By showing the rest of the world how to be sustainable and competitive, we can convince other countries to move with us.'