The European Commission today presented the European Green Pact with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality for the European Union by 2050. Ursula von der Leyen said the agreement is “the European equivalent of putting man on the moon”.
Formally presented to the European Parliament on Wednesday, the President of the European Commission says this is “the beginning of a journey”.
“The European Green Pact is our new growth strategy,” said Von der Leyen.
It is a commitment that covers sectors such as agriculture, transport, the chemical industry and construction that aims to reduce carbon emissions and offset them through environmental protection policies.
“It’s time to act” and also “to reconcile the economy with the planet,” said the president of the European Commission.
The European Commission also promises to invest € 100 billion to support the continent’s most disadvantaged regions and to ensure a joint transition to a cleaner economy.
“A crucial part of the European Green Pact is the fair transition mechanism. We have the ambition to mobilise 100 billion euros specifically targeted at the most vulnerable regions and sectors,” von der Leyen said.
The main pillar of the agreement will be a “climate law” that should include the date of 2050 for carbon neutrality. The European Commission intends to present this climate legislation in March 2020.
Ursula von der Leyen said that “the proposal for the first European climate legislation” will be presented next March and that it will allow “long-term planning”, particularly for businesses.
However, the President of the European Commission warned about the costs that could come from inaction in the face of climate change and warned while some consider the cost of this transformation to be too high, “Let us never forget what the cost of inaction will be.”
Next summer, the Commission will come forward with a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent (from the current 50 percent) by 2030.
The Commission president leader says that this pact “shows how to transform the way we live and work, produce and consume, to lead a healthier life and make our companies innovative.”
The European Commission will discuss the proposals with EU leaders at the summit on Thursday and Friday.