Lesson 2 Climate Change and Climate Policy – The European Green Deal

The European Green Deal is a comprehensive plan announced by the European Union in December 2019  (LINK) that aims to make the EU’s economy more sustainable and address the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation.


The main objectives of the Green Deal are to:

  1. Achieve climate neutrality by 2050, meaning that the EU will aim to produce net zero greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon dioxide, by that year.
  2. Increase the share of renewable energy sources in the EU’s energy mix, with a target of 32% by   2030.
  3. Improve energy efficiency in buildings, transportation, and industry.
  4. Preserve and restore biodiversity and ecosystems, including reducing pollution and increasing   sustainable agriculture.
  5. Promote a circular economy by reducing waste and increasing the reuse, repair, and recycling of materials.

To achieve these goals, the European Green Deal proposes a range of policies and initiatives, including:

  1. A European Climate Law to enshrine the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 into legislation.
  2. A Just Transition Mechanism to help regions and sectors that will be most affected by the transition to a greener economy.
  3. The Farm to Fork Strategy, which aims to make food production and consumption more sustainable.
  4. The Circular Economy Action Plan, which sets out measures to promote a circular economy.
  5. An EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, which sets out measures to protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity.

Overall, the European Green Deal represents a comprehensive effort by the EU to transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon, and circular economy that protects the environment, promotes economic growth, and benefits all citizens.

The European Green Investment Plan:

The European Green Deal Investment Plan (EGDIP), also referred to as Sustainable Europe Investment Plan (SEIP), is the investment pillar of the Green Deal. To achieve the goals set by the European Green Deal, the Plan will mobilise at least €1 trillion in sustainable investments over the next decade. Part of the plan, the Just Transition Mechanism, will be targeted to a fair and just green transition. It will mobilise at least €100 billion in investments over the period 2021-2027 to support workers and citizens of the regions most impacted by the transition:

  • Increase funding for the transition, and mobilise at least €1 trillion to support sustainable investments over the next decade through the EU budget and associated instruments, in particular InvestEU
  • Create an enabling framework for private investors and the public sector to facilitate sustainable investments
  • Provide support to public administrations and project promoters in identifying, structuring and executing sustainable projects  (Link)