European Green Deal - Sustainable Development and Climate Neutrality for Europe

The European Green Deal is an initiative of the European Commission that is committed to sustainable development within Europe. First presented in December 2019, it aims to make Europe climate neutral by 2050.

The European Green Deal includes measures in the areas of climate action, environment, energy, transport, agriculture, industry and consumer protection. The initiative also includes plans for promoting innovation and a green economy, improving air and water quality, and protecting nature and biodiversity. The measures are aimed at simultaneously combating climate change, protecting the environment, and sustainably transforming the economy.

Central Goals

One of the key goals of the European Green Deal is to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This will be achieved through various measures such as reducing CO2 emissions, promoting renewable energies and increasing energy efficiency in various sectors such as transport, industry and agriculture.

Another important aspect of the Green Deal is furthering an environmentally friendly economy. This includes promoting innovation and investment in green technologies, as well as incentivising companies to produce in a more environmentally friendly way and to develop sustainable business models. Investments in environmentally friendly projects are also facilitated through the creation of an EU-wide framework for sustainable financing.

The European Green Deal also aims to reduce pollution and protect biodiversity. This includes measures to reduce air and water pollution, protect oceans, promote sustainable agriculture and restore ecosystems.

The European Green Deal will achieve the transition to a modern, efficient and competitive economy. Its key objectives can be summarised as follows:

  • No more net greenhouse gas emissions in Europe by 2050;
  • decoupling economic growth from the use of resources;
  • leaving neither people nor regions alone in their processes of transformation to overcome the challenges arising from this.

New Initiatives, Policies and Funding

The EU has launched a number of initiatives and policies to reach these goals. These include the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Farm-to-Fork Strategy for sustainable food production, improving the energy efficiency of buildings, the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

The Green Deal is not just an environmental initiative. It is also a roadmap for a fair and inclusive process of transformation. It aims to ensure that no one is disadvantaged by the transition to a greener economy. This includes supporting regions that are particularly affected by structural change and funding (re)training programmes to facilitate the transition to sustainable jobs. A new funding instrument was created for this purpose in the EU funding period 2021 to 2027: the Just Transition Fund (JTF).

The European Green Deal provides an ambitious framework for a unified and coordinated EU strategy to tackle climate change and protect the environment, whilst also promoting economic growth and social justice. It is a long-term plan that will shape the entirety of EU legislation and policy agenda in the coming years.

Useful Links and Further Information

All organisations that want to be successful in Europe in the future should take the European Green Deal into account as it offers a wide range of opportunities for those with innovative potential.

You can find further helpful articles and tips in this upgrade2europe learning tool, in our learning videos and in our upgrade2europe handbook. In the handbook, for example, you will find an introduction to the so-called PESTLE analysis, which you can use to systematically analyse the external conditions of your process of Europeanisation in six areas, one of which is ecology. You can use our self-assessment tool if you would like to immediately check online to what extent your organisation is well positioned for Europe.