What is 'The Green Deal'?

The European Commission has adopted a new Circular Economy Action Plan - one of the main building blocks of the European Green Deal. It is Europe's new agenda for sustainable growth. The European Green Deal is a roadmap to make the economy of the EU more sustainable. This will be realized through turning environmental and climate challenges into opportunities.

Here are the main things you need to know:

The roadmap

The roadmap entails the actions which are boosting efficient use of resources and circular economy and restoring diversity in nature, whilst reducing pollution. The main goal is to make the EU climate neutral by 2050.

In order to realize this, the European Commission proposed a new European Climate Law turning this political commitment into legal obligation. The plan and the initiatives therein will be developed with the close involvement of the business community.

In order to reach its goals, all sectors of the economy should take the actions below:

  • Investing in eco-friendly technologies and ideas;

  • Supporting innovation in industries;

  • Encourage international partnerships to improve global environmental standards;

  • Making public transport more eco-friendly;

  • Making buildings more energy efficient;

  • Decreasing carbon dioxide emission in the energy sector.

In this journey the EU will also provide financial support and technical assistance to help people, businesses and regions that are most affected by the move towards the green economy. In order to do that, the EU will invest at least €100 billion in the most affected regions over the period of 2021-2027.

Sectors that are particularly addressed

The commission underlined some sectors in the action plan:

  • Textiles – the strategy is going to focus on strengthening the competitiveness and innovativeness as well as encouraging the textile reuse;

  • Plastics – new generation plastics will mostly be bio-based and biodegradable; 

  • Electronics and ICT – a “Circular Electronics Initiative” to have longer product lifetimes, and improve the collection and treatment of waste;

  • Food – single-use packaging application, cutlery, tableware will be made from reusable in food services;

  • Batteries and vehicles - enhancing the sustainability and boosting the circular potential of batteries will be the priority.

The Action Plan

The following actions are planned for the coming months:

  • Proposal of the first climate law;

  • Adoption of the European Industrial Strategy;

  • Circular Economy Action Plan Proposal focusing on sustainable resource use;

  • Presentation of “Farm to fork strategy” to make food sector more sustainable;

  • EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

Statements by officials

“Today, our economy is still mostly linear, with only 12% of secondary materials and resources being brought back into the economy. Many products break down too easily, cannot be reused, repaired or recycled, or are made for single use only. There is a huge potential to be exploited both for businesses and consumers. With today's plan we launch action to transform the way products are made and empower consumers to make sustainable choices for their own benefit and that of the environment.” – said Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans.

The circular economy will have net positive benefits in terms of GDP growth and jobs' creation, since applying ambitious circular economy measures in Europe can increase the EU's GDP by an additional 0.5% by 2030 creating around 700,000 new jobs.

Sources:

1.https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_420?utm_campaign=593e35c494a3260f2b01cffe&utm_content=5e68eec43a1f6700013e9a77&utm_medium=smarpshare&utm_source=linkedin 

2.  https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

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