The European Commission today (Wednesday) unveiled the “Green Deal”, a comprehensive package of bills to combat climate change aimed at completely ending EU carbon emissions by the middle of the current century.
The package includes about a dozen proposals for laws and guidelines, including setting a price tag on carbon emissions, setting emission reduction targets for each member state in terms of GDP per capita, planting three billion trees across the union by the end of the decade, producing 40 percent of the union’s energy from renewable sources. On the sale of new cars powered by fuel and diesel from 2035 and the imposition of taxation on aircraft fuel.
According to the Commission, the goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from EU countries by 55 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, when by 2050 there will be no emissions of polluting gases at all. “The union’s green deal is our growth model, driven by innovation, clean energy and a circular economy,” said Commission President Ursula von der Lane, noting that a third of the union’s budget will support green projects. “Europe is now the first continent to present a comprehensive structure to meet our climate goals.”
The proposals still need the support of all 27 member states and the European Parliament and are expected to provoke opposition from countries in the east of the continent that still rely on coal and from potentially damaged industries such as the aviation industry and automakers.
Despite this, the climate policy commissioner, Frances Timmermans, expressed hope that the package would be supported. “We ask a lot of our citizens and we will ask a lot of our industries,” he said. “But we do it for a good cause. We do it to give humanity a chance to fight.”