Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, presented last week the European Green Deal, a measures plan which aim to make that Europe becomes in the “first climate-neutral continent” by 2050. 

To achieve a sustainable ecological transition that benefits citizens and business, European Commission wants to create a economic and social model which reduce emissions and ensure investment in research and innovation to preserve the european natural environment. For that purpose, it is intended to create a transition fund up to €100 billion for the European areas that are most dependent on fossil fuels. 

Europe aims to become in a sustainable and circular economy in order to, as Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President in charge of the European Green Deal, says: “reducing emissions, restoring the health of our environment, protecting our wildlife, creating new economic opportunities and improving the quality of life of our citizens”. Also, actions have been put forward to boost the efficient use of the resources. 

On the other hand, and within the actions against climate emergency, European Commission will present the European Climatic Law, the Biodiversity Strategy by 2030, the Industrial Strategy, the Circular Economy Action Plan, the “farm to table” Strategy on sustainable food and other proposals that seek to end emissions.

What are the benefits that citizens obtain?

  • A cleaner air, water and soil, 
  • reduced energy bills, 
  • renovated homes, schools and hospitals,
  • best public transport alternatives,
  • more charging points for electric cars,
  • better health for current and future generations,
  • environmentally friendly products in our stores,
  • fewer plaguicides and fertilisers, 
  • healthier food and
  • recyclable and reusable packaging, less waste.

What will happen if we do not act?

  • Pollution: 400,000 premature deaths per year due to air pollution. 
  • Warm and dryness: 90,000 annual deaths as a result of heatwaves; 660,000 additional asylum applications per year in the EU at 5°C temperature increase; 16% of species at risk of extinction at 4.3°C temperature increase.
  • Water and flooding: 40% less available water in southern regions of the European Union;  half a million people exposed to river flooding each year; 2.2 million people exposed to coastal inundation each year.
  • Economics: €190 billion annual losses projected for a 3℃ increase in global average temperature; globally, the number of people at risk of being forced from their homes by river flooding could increase to 50 million a year; climate change could lead to a 20% food price rise in 2050; economic costs of heat-related mortality could amount to more than €40 billion per year.