The European Green Deal

An introduction

A CarbonCancel blog by
Pieter Jacobs | 20/01/2020

President Ursula von der Leyen:

“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.”

Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans:

“We are in a climate and environmental emergency. The European Green Deal is an opportunity to improve the health and well-being of our people by transforming our economic model… We all have an important part to play and every industry and country will be part of this transformation.”

So, the European Union has finally decided on a path for the future. On 11 December 2019, the European Commission announced the EU Green Deal: A 24-page thin document lays out a radical project to make the European Union climate neutral by 2050. It is one of the most impactful efforts in the history of the EU and shows that concerns over climate change have moved to the heart of EU policy making. It also lets us know that we all have a part to play. 

The main goal of this deal is for the European Union to become the world’s first “climate-neutral bloc” by 2050. But to reach this goal, action is needed in all areas of the EU economy:

  • Investing in environmentally friendly technologies
  • Supporting industry to innovate
  • Rolling out cleaner, cheaper and healthier forms of private and public transport
  • Decarbonising the energy sector
  • Ensuring buildings are more energy efficient
  • Working with international partners to improve global environmental standards

It will take massive changes in nearly all aspects of our lives. Most of today’s greenhouse gases come from power production and transportation, but industry, commercial and residential fuel combustion and agriculture also play an important role. 

Source: National emissions reported to the UNFCCC and to the EU Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Mechanism provided by European Environment Agency (EEA).

As we have talked about in a previous blog, supply and demand help determine total emissions and are deeply connected, just like the individual and the collective. So, saving the planet will require big change on all levels of our society. This means that through our individual contributions, we can help collective efforts and support the EU in achieving its common goal.

Just like at the beginning of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” for a depression-struck U.S. in 1932, the details of the plan are still pretty vague and there are still many roadblocks to overcome. The modern European version is just over a year old and still in its early stages. The goal is clear, but until it is reached, we all have an opportunity to help in the transition and contribute in any way we can. 

One way in which we can all participate is by gaining more insight into our own carbon footprint and becoming conscious of the impact of our lives. We at CarbonCancel will try to support you in this process.

Let’s start by encouraging them to take even more drastic steps towards a green EU! Check out this petition, and join in demanding an EU-wide Carbon Tax: https://www.stopglobalwarming.eu/

Do you have a topic you really want us to talk about, interesting initiatives we should all take a look at, or do you have an opinion on what was discussed, let us know on Twitter/Instagram/LinkedIn!