Nearly two years after the European Commission launched the European Green Deal in December 2019, the EU’s landscape has changed greatly, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing a contraction of the bloc’s GDP by 6.1% in 2020. Yet as countries continue their vaccination campaigns and focus on economic recovery, there’s hope that the region can rebound. The IMF projects that the Europe’s GDP could return to pre-pandemic levels by 2022.
The European Green Deal has the potential to play a key role not only in ensuring this recovery in the short term but also in addressing long-term climate change threats. The launch of the “Fit for 55” package this week is expected to mark an important step in overhauling climate policies and enabling the EU to deliver on its commitment to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030.
Here’s a look at the deal, what it has achieved so far and what to expect next.
What are the areas of focus?
Ranging across eight policy areas – biodiversity, sustainable food systems, sustainable agriculture, clean energy, sustainable industry, building and renovating, sustainable mobility, eliminating pollution and climate action – the deal represents an unprecedented effort to review more than 50 European laws and redesign public policies.
The deal aims to achieve three main goals. First, it focuses on achieving net-zero emissions by proposing specific strategies that can help curb emissions across all sectors, with a strong focus on energy, which makes up more than 75% of total EU-27’s greenhouses gas. The objective is to increase the share of renewable energy in the EU’s energy mix.
World Economic Forum, 13 July 2021