The European Commission announced today that it will be budgeting at least €1 trillion of investment over the next 10 years to make Europe carbon neutral.
The EU is currently third, behind China and the United States, in global greenhouse gas emissions. The new plan contains even more ambitious emissions cuts than the EU’s Paris Climate Agreement commitments. The EU’s goal for 2030 has gone from a 40% reduction to a 50% reduction, with the added goal for 2050 of eliminating 100% of the bloc’s net greenhouse gas emissions.
But the European Green Deal is light on the details of how this massive transition would actually proceed. For example, the plan doesn’t provide a detailed description of the energy sources that would power the EU to zero emissions by 2050, what technologies might help it get there, or any policy mechanisms that could help incentivize climate-friendly business practices. [EC president Ursula] von der Leyen acknowledged this, calling it a ‘broad road map,’ rather than a step-by-step action plan.
Today’s budget announcement says that the plan will use a mix of both private and public funds, including one-quarter of the EU’s budget, according to EuroNews.
Part of the budget is a €100 million Just Transition Fund. That money is to help countries like Poland transition to green energy. Poland is still on 80% coal.
Members of European Parliament will vote on the resolution on Wednesday. The EU wants the Green Deal to be law by March 2020.
It says will set out the conditions for transition, provide predictability for investors, and ensure the transition to carbon neutrality is irreversible.
Katie Treadwell, energy policy officer at WWF European Policy Office, said:
A climate-neutral Europe needs everyone to play their part. The proposed just transition mechanism is an important step toward making that happen.
But a ‘just transition’ is not ‘just’ if regions are locked into unviable fossil fuels. It is not a ‘transition’ if there is no deadline for getting climate neutral. MEPs and EU Member States must improve the proposal so that regions show how and by when they will get free from gas, oil, and coal.