The European Union, which comprises the world’s second-largest economy, has turned climate action into mainstream policy by publishing a detailed road map on how it aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Unlike the proposed US Green New Deal, which envisages making the United States carbon-neutral within 10 years, experts consider the European Green Deal to be a scientifically sound and achievable climate action plan. Certainly, the plan doesn’t lack in ambition. Yet should the EU succeed, it would send a powerful signal to the world that economic prosperity and environmental sustainability aren’t mutually exclusive.
The European Green Deal promotes inclusive economic growth with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
The European Green Deal aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by half of 1990 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The policy will affect every aspect of the European Union economy. One priority will be the decarbonization of the energy sector, which produces three quarters of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. Besides asking Member States to invest in renewable energy, the EU will help economically less well-off Member States in making the necessary infrastructure investments. Furthermore, the EU will launch and subsidize an ambitious initiative to renovate buildings and make them more energy efficient.
The strategy calls for Europe’s industrial sector – especially energy-intensive sectors like steel, chemicals and cement – to decarbonize by adopting a “circular economy” model. One important aspect of this model involves finding ways to reuse materials as well as cut waste. To prevent climate laggards from outside...