Nearly every major aspect of the European economy is to be re-evaluated in light of the imperatives of the climate and ecological emergency, according to sweeping new plans set out by the European commission on Wednesday. The comprehensive nature of the European Green Deal – which encompasses the air we breathe to how food is grown, from how we travel to the buildings we inhabit – was set out in a flurry of documents as Ursula von der Leyen, the new commission president, made her appeal to member states and parliamentarians in Brussels to back the proposals, which would represent the biggest overhaul of policy since the foundation of the modern EU. Von der Leyen said the package was aimed at economic growth and increasing prosperity. “[This] is our new growth strategy, for a growth that gives back more than it takes away,” she said. “It shows how to transform our way of living and working, of producing and consuming, so that we live healthier [lives] and make our businesses innovate. We will help our economy to be a global leader by moving first and moving fast.”
Guardian 11th Dec 2019 read more »
“This is Europe’s man on the moon moment,” new Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen told reporters in Brussels today as she unveiled the first flagship policy from her new Commission – a plan for Europe to hit net zero emissions by 2050. The European Green Deal, Brussels’ pathway to make Europe the first ever ‘climate neutral’ continent, aims to kickstart ‘green growth’ across the bloc, radically cut greenhouse gas emissions, and galvanise other nations to take bolder action on climate change. Central to the new strategy are proposals for the EU to ramp up its 2030 targets under the Paris Agreement, which would see the bloc more than halve emissions by the end of the next decade against a 1990 baseline. The new emissions goals would put Europe on track for net zero emissions by 2050, a target that under the plan would be enshrined in a ‘Climate Law’ by March 2020. Alongside charting a path for decarbonising Europe, hopes are high the European Green Deal could revive enthusiasm for climate action globally by encouraging other nations to boost their own climate targets.
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The European Union’s 28 states failed to reach agreement on landmark regulation for green finance, tripping up the bloc’s attempts to be a leader in the field. Envoys meeting in Brussels on Wednesday rejected a deal with the European Parliament on how to define green investments, according to two officials who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Countries that support the inclusion of nuclear energy on the list wanted to revise the text, one of them said. The EU’s list of sustainable activities for investment purposes, dubbed “taxonomy,” is the centerpiece of its push to regulate the fast growing market of green finance. It’s meant to define what’s green and what’s not, an effort that could find a range of uses and serve as an example for governments around the world. France and a number of eastern European countries including Romania and Bulgaria opposed the deal reached last week, according to Sven Giegold, a member of the Green Party in the EU parliament. “Nuclear energy in sustainable financial products would destroy the trust of investors in many countries,” he said in a statement. “France should end its blockade and withdraw its request for further negotiations.” National governments will try to agree on a new position on Monday and potentially seek further talks with lawmakers, according to the officials. Despite the EU’s vocal support for the fight against climate change, agreements on the concrete rules often get held up by national interests.
Bloomberg 11th Dec 2019 read more »