New European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the European Green Deal on December 11 (here on YouTube ), calling it “Europe’s man on the moon moment”. The 10 key points are outlined here , with the flagship commitment that the EU will aim to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a goal that will be enshrined in a ‘Climate Law’ to be presented in March 2020. To achieve net-zero, EU’s ambitions must rise to a 50-55% cut in greenhouse gas emissions, replacing the current 40% objective.
In “Europe’s Green New Deal“, Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University writes for Project Syndicate that it “ is the first comprehensive plan to achieve sustainable development in any major world region. As such, it becomes a global benchmark – a “how-to” guide for planning the transformation to a prosperous, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable economy.” Clean Energy Wire compiles reaction from German politicians, NGO’s and think tanks: reactions are mixed – like Sachs, most commend the symbolic and political achievement of the EU statement, while tempering their enthusiasm with concerns for implementation details. An article in The Guardian also summarizes the deal with some sense of the opposition and difficulties ahead.
The Euractiv summary quotes EU Commissioner von der Leyen on the proposal for a Just Transition Mechanism: “We have the ambition to mobilise €100 billion precisely targeted to the most vulnerable regions and sectors” and describes the initiative as having three “legs”: 1. A just transition fund that will mobilise resources from the EU’s regional policy budget; 2. An “InvestEU” programme, with money coming from the European Investment Bank (EIB); and 3. EIB funding coming from the EU bank’s own capital. The EU Commission website provides Details of the Just Transition Mechanism for download.