GREEN DEAL & GREEN RECOVERY

At the end of 2019, the European Commission announced their intention to pursue a new growth strategy for Europe, that will address the existential threat of climate change. The European Green Deal is intended to be the path forward for “transform[ing] the Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy” with “no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050; economic growth ..decoupled from resource use; and no person and no place.. left behind”

BUT. And it’s a big but! The EU Council, made up of the member states heads of government, is not aligned with the Parliament’s position of tackling the 1.5 degree climate goal. So now the Climate Law must be decided in the Trilogue negotiations between the European Council, the Parliament and the Commission. They have not yet come to a decision, and the fate of the EU’s climate policy hangs in the balance. We’ve got to let our heads of government know that we want an ambitious and effective climate law.

SO WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?

THE EUROPEAN CLIMATE LAW

In the spring of 2020 the European Commission proposed the European Climate law as a critical update to the EU’s climate policy and in view of putting us on track to reach climate neutrality by 2050. The Commission initially proposed increasing the EU’s emissions reduction targets from -40% to -55% from 1990 levels by the year 2030. However, science tells us we need a much higher 2030 target to put us on track to reaching 2050 climate neutrality, let alone for limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C.  As a result, the European Parliament voted for an ambitious target of a 60% reduction.

While this target is not as ambitious as we would have liked — the Greens in the European Parliament along with environmental organizations and activists were pushing for a 65% reduction — this is an important step forward for putting the EU on course to deliver on its commitments to the Paris Agreement and address the climate emergency.

We’re also fighting to support the Parliament and Green’s position to establish an independent European Climate Change Council (ECCC). The ECCC would provide scientific oversight of EU action on climate and provide vital transparency.

BUT. And it’s a big but! The EU Council, made up of the member states heads of government, is not aligned with the Parliament’s position. So now the Climate Law must be decided in the Trilogue negotiations between the European Council, the Parliament and the Commission. They have not yet come to a decision, and the fate of the EU’s climate policy hangs in the balance.

We’ve got to let our government know that we want an ambitious and science-based climate law. Head over to our Take Action page and write a letter to your Environment Minister to show your support for establishing an independent scientific council!

Learn more from our MEP Michael Bloss

And check out our TAKE ACTION page to get involved!

THE GREEN RECOVERY PLAN

To help repair the economic and social damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission, the European Parliament and EU leaders have all agreed on a European recovery plan that will lead the way out of the crisis and lay the foundations for a modern and more sustainable Europe. – website European commission 

Across Europe, Greens are advocating an approach that puts climate at the heart of recovery, to build a better tomorrow. The Covid-19 crisis has put our world on pause for over a year now and has affected many people and sectors. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we build something better, a greener and fairer world for everyone. We can’t afford to just go back to normalbecause normal means we will still be in the facing the climate crisis.  

A Green transition can not only guarantee well-funded health and social services, as well as a resilient and sustainable economy, but also cleaner air, healthier ecosystems, greater energy security and a more innovative economy. Recovery must be achieved through a real transition to a more resilient and sustainable economic model. 

SO WHAT'S COMING UP?

New pieces of the Green Deal will continue to be proposed and discussed over the next months and year. But, to make sure it is a truly Green Deal, we’ll need to make sure that each of these strategies is as ambitious, sustainable and just as possible, by making sure our leaders know that we demand a more sustainable future. Here are a few important strategies that will be discussed by the EU institutions in the coming months that we’ll be following and focusing our advocacy on: 

Fit-for-2030 – climate and Energy Package Review push for strong and ambitious updates to the Climate and Energy Package review in June including a coal-phase out by 2030 at the latest, followed by other fossil fuels soon after, a 2030 combustion engine phase out, and a truly ambitious commitment to 100% renewable energy as soon as possible.

The Common Agriculture Programme which is being renewed this year and which sets the EU’s agricultural policies for the next 7 yearsThese policies determine whether our food production is local and sustainable and whether our small farmers are protected and supported. Currently, it is not in line with our climate goals. You can learn more about the #WithdrawtheCAP campaign here.

The Renovation Wave to make our homes more energy efficient, reduce energy poverty, and lead the way for greener, safer and more comfortable homes across Europe. Read more here.

Fairer Fares are vital for making Europe’s transportation options more sustainable and more fair. We need to end the unfair tax exemption for airlines and put greener transit options — like trains! — on even footing! Learn more here.

EU Taxonomy make sure EU regulation on sustainable finance does not allow for natural gas and nuclear to be counted as “climate-friendly” investments, and end all subsidies for fossil fuels.