Under president Ursula von der Leyen’s leadership, the European Commission has unveiled an ambitious plan to support at least €1 trillion (AU$1.6 trillion) in investment over the next decade to help make the EU carbon neutral by 2050
With the “transformation ahead” described as “unprecedented”, Von der Leyen said the investment plan will be created to work for everyone.
“We will support our people and our regions that need to make bigger efforts in this transformation, to make sure that we leave no one behind,” she said.
“And it will only work if it is just – and if it works for all.”
Ursula von der Leyen has just started as president of the European Commission. She was born in Brussels, has seven children and trained as a gynaecologist before entering politics. She is the first woman in the job, and the first German in more than 50 years.
The Green Deal’s key ambitions come as the EU has already increased its 2030 emissions reductions targets to between 50% and 55% when compared with 1990 levels — although not all member states have agreed to the current timetable.
Pushing to leave “no one behind” (with countries like Poland still heavily reliant on coal) Von der Leyen has also announced €100 million Just Transition Fund as part of the budget, which would aim to allocate funding to regions that need more support in the transition.
Von der Leyen says the deal will be funded through a mix of investments from member state and private sector contributions.
While the plan has already won the support of the EU parliament, its implementation relies on further EU legislation amendments.
The move follows a similar promise by Jacinda Ardern in recent months, who has committed New Zealand to be carbon neutral by 2050, declaring that it will put the country on the “right side of history”.
“We’re here because our world is warming. Undeniably it is warming. We have to start moving beyond targets. We have to start moving beyond aspirations,” she said in November.
The #EUGreenDeal comes with important investment needs, which we will turn into investment opportunities. The plan that we present today, to mobilise at least €1 trillion, will show the direction and unleash a green investment wave. pic.twitter.com/4FXTxGujdQ
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) January 14, 2020