Commission adopts strategic vision for climate-neutral Europe by 2050
The European Commission (EC) adopted a new climate strategy on 28 November 2018. The document presents a "strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy by 2050 – A Clean Planet for all". According to the EC, the strategy shows how Europe can lead the way to climate neutrality by investing into realistic technological solutions, empowering citizens, and aligning action in key areas such as industrial policy, finance, or research – while ensuring social fairness for a just transition. The strategy aims to make Europe "both climate neutral and prosperous" by 2050, leaving no EU region behind.
According to the EC, the climate strategy covers nearly all EU policies and is in line with the Paris Agreement objective to keep temperature increase to well below 2°C, and pursue efforts to keep it to 1.5°C. The strategy does not set targets, but is intended to "create a vision and sense of direction, plan for it, and inspire as well as enable stakeholders, researchers, entrepreneurs and citizens alike to develop new and innovative industries, businesses and associated jobs".
The strategy covers seven strategic areas, proposing joint action in each of these areas: energy efficiency; deployment of renewables; clean, safe and connected mobility; competitive industry and circular economy; infrastructure and interconnections; bio-economy and natural carbon sinks; carbon capture and storage to address remaining emissions.
The European Commission now invites the European Council, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee to consider the EU vision for a climate neutral Europe by 2050. In order to prepare EU Heads of State and Government for shaping the Future of Europe at the European Council on 9 May 2019 in Sibiu, ministers in all relevant Council formations should hold extensive policy debates on the contribution of their respective policy areas to the overall vision. Beyond that, the EC invites all EU institutions, the national parliaments, business sector, non-governmental organisations, cities and communities, as well as citizens to participate in this EU-wide informed debate. This should allow the EU to adopt and submit an ambitious strategy by early 2020 to the UNFCCC as requested under the Paris Agreement.
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