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Wednesday 08.04.2020 | Name days: Dana, Dans, Danute, Edgars

EC signs von der Leyen’s European Green Deal toward 2050 climate neutrality

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Ursula von der Leyen, climate change

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

The European Commission has signed off new leader Ursula von der Leyen’s plan to make Europe the world’s first climate neutral continent. The European Green Deal envisages net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but it will be up to member states to approve it.

German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports that the European Commission signed off on President Ursula von der Leyen’s European Green Deal on Wednesday, December 11, in Brussels, with a promise of money for EU nations that are lagging behind.

The European Green Deal will still need to be passed — by the leaders of the EU’s member states and the European Parliament — for the climate policies to be implemented into law.

The climate change resolutions will be considered by the leaders of EU countries at their meeting in Brussels on Thursday, December 12.

New growth model

Von der Leyen, who has put climate issues at the center of her presidency, described the plan as Europe’s «new growth strategy.»

«We do not have all the answers yet, today is the start of a journey, but this is Europe’s man on the moon moment. The European Green Deal is very ambitious, but it will also be very careful in assessing the impact and every single step we’re taking.»

Von der Leyen said an economic growth plan based on fossil fuels and pollution was «out of date and out of touch.»

«The European Green deal is on one hand about cutting emissions, but on the other hand, about creating jobs and boosting innovation.»

Key points:

– At least 50% reduction in EU carbon emissions compared with 1990 levels by 2030

–  EU climate neutrality by 2050

– A «carbon border tax» on polluting foreign firms in selected industries in 2021

– 100 billion earmarked to help countries transition from fossil fuels

Opposition from eastern members

Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic — which are reliant on coal-fired power plants — have yet to commit to the EU’s goal of net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

Read also: Latvian government supports reaching EU’s climate neutrality goal by 2050

A «Just Transition Fund» is envisaged to help those countries with the switch away from fossil fuels, although the amount will depend on the outcome of negotiations on the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027, Deutsche Welle reports.


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