The European Green Deal

The European Green Deal presents a transformational opportunity like no other in history: it is a commitment to remake Europe’s economy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. 

The European Green Deal is a roadmap to realign Europe’s economy with the trajectory to net zero, help implement the Paris Agreement and build a more sustainable and fairer society.

Developed by the European Commission in late 2019, spurred in part by the mass climate movements which mobilised millions of citizens worldwide, it is a major step forward for climate policy in Europe, while sending a strong signal to the world to propel global climate action. 

Since thenout of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, a consensus for green recovery has emerged. The European Green Deal can be the pathway for Europe’s recovery and an opportunity for catalytic change which could generate a new social contract to reconnect citizens to each otherto Europe and to the planet. 

What is the European Green Deal and how could it effect change?

An action plan to accelerate the transition to climate neutrality

Practically, the European Green Deal is a set of policy initiatives coordinated across the EU and its Member States to speed up the transition towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, including by reaching emissions reductions of at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levelsIt provides an EU legislative framework requiring all Member States to take a certain level of actionas well as offering financial support for those most affected by the transition. 

An opportunity for a better future for all

If well designed and implemented at EU and national levels, the European Green Deal can set in motion long-term sustainable growth, the creation of new jobs and a better quality of life for all – providing cleaner energy, cutting air pollution and preserving biodiversity. It also aims to engage Europe in a transition that leaves no one behind, makes society more inclusive and more resilient, and bolsters European cohesion. 

A powerful tool for bold change

The European Green Deal implies a deep transformation across all sectors of our economy, which requires a massive policy shift. EU policymaking and regulatory action will trigger the alignment of national rules and laws, setting off a domino effect for change across all levels of government, industry and society. Successful implementation could establish Europe as proof of concept for a whole-economy, whole-society transition towardclimate neutrality.  

A starting point for a broader societal project

The European Green Deal could be the cornerstone in a broader project to reconnect citizens to each other and their wider European community. It could make Europe the foundation of a new social contract centred around ecology and social justice, fostering a new relationship between people, politics and the planet, that inspires the rest of the world. 

A catalyst for worldwide climate action

Pioneering and concrete progress towards the Paris Agreement objectives would set the EU at the forefront of global climate leadership to engage with other international players such as China, the US, and countries across the Global South – making climate action a key factor for other global players to deliver on. 

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The European Green Deal – our approach

The ECF network – a diverse collection of more than 700 partner organisations from across civil society – is committed to working towards the following priorities:

Accelerate the delivery of the transition: 

  • Encourage strong, ambitious and socially just legislation and standards to translate the aspirations of the European Green Deal into concrete EU instruments with rapid implementation. 
  • Promote country policies for Member States to meet the EU’s climate targets and ensure that national recovery plans are aligned with the European Green Deal
  • Help secure an effective climate transition across the main economic sectors, especially those within our areas of expertise, that delivers at pace. 

Secure a European Green Deal for the people: 

  • Engage citizens at the local and regional level to embed the green transition in daily life.
  • Act as a unifying and inclusive force by broadening engagement for climate action across all areas of society. 
  • Defend progress while making the social mandate for climate action stronger overall.

Leverage international climate leadership: 

  • Spark a supportive dynamic between global leaders that helps them make bold, firm commitments on climate action. 
  • Build on this dynamic as an international diplomacy tool and as a basis for negotiation with EU partners. 
  • Encourage and support other countries and regions to foster climate action of their own, using the European Green Deal as a reference for sustainable development and competitiveness. 

Resilient Recovery

The Covid-19 crisis has provided evidence of the need for a more resilient society and economy. Requiring an unprecedented scale of investments, the economic recovery from Covid-19 can be a unique opportunity for big and bold change towards a more sustainable society and a vehicle for accelerating the transition to climate neutrality.

The European Climate Foundation has developed a dedicated initiative, the Resilient Recovery project, to ensure that the postCovid-19 European economy is aligned with and underpinned by an ambitious European Green Deal.  

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