The European Green Deal represents a steadfast commitment to making Europe the first climate-neutral continent globally by 2050, as mandated by the EU Climate Law. In July 2021, the European Union introduced the 'Fit for 55' legislation, which has now been fully adopted, aiming to reduce emissions by at least 55% by the end of this decade. This legislative framework sets the EU on a trajectory to achieve its 2030 climate targets in an equitable, cost-effective, and competitive manner, aligning with the global imperative for climate action.
This initiative precedes the pivotal COP28 UN Climate Conference and the upcoming European elections, highlighting Europe's dedication to fulfilling promises made to its citizens and international allies. The European Green Deal serves as a blueprint for a transformative change, turning the challenge of climate change into an opportunity to forge a new economic model. The commitment involves all 27 EU Member States striving to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, pledging to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
The legislative package encompasses various sectors of the economy, including emissions reduction targets, promotion of natural carbon sinks, updates to the emissions trading system, and social support for citizens and small businesses. Member States are mandated to allocate 100% of their emissions trading revenues to climate and energy-related projects, reinforcing the commitment to a sustainable future.
To address societal and economic disparities, a new Social Climate Fund has been established, allocating €65 billion from the EU budget and over €86 billion in total to support vulnerable citizens and small businesses in their transition to green practices. Additionally, the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism ensures a level playing field for European companies, imposing a carbon price on imported products in covered sectors.
The initiative extends its reach to the transportation sector, setting ambitious targets for zero-emission vehicles by 2035 and introducing emissions trading for road transport from 2027. Furthermore, carbon pricing is expanded to aviation and maritime sectors, encouraging cleaner fuel use and investments in clean technologies.
The Green Deal Industrial Plan, unveiled in February 2023, aims to enhance the competitiveness of Europe's net-zero industry through a predictable regulatory environment, faster access to funding, skill enhancement, and facilitation of open and fair trade for resilient supply chains. The Net-Zero Industry Act, presented in March 2023, complements this plan, fostering the manufacturing of clean technologies, creating green jobs, and attracting investments.
Addressing energy concerns, the REPowerEU plan, introduced in May 2022, focuses on deploying more renewable energy, saving energy, and diversifying energy supplies. Strengthened legislation in March 2023 raises the binding target for renewable energy capacity to at least 42.5% by 2030, with aspirations to reach 45%, nearly doubling the existing share of renewable energy in the EU. Simultaneously, a new binding EU-level target aims to improve energy efficiency by 11.7% by 2030.
The focus extends to building renovations, with the EU aiming to double renovation rates in the next decade, promoting higher energy and resource efficiency. The Social Climate Fund supports citizens and businesses in this endeavor, contributing to energy efficiency, building renovations, clean heating and cooling, and the integration of renewable energy.
The EU's biodiversity strategy for 2030 outlines commitments to enlarge protected areas, launch a nature restoration plan, unlock funding for biodiversity, and introduce measures to tackle global biodiversity challenges. Additionally, a Soil Monitoring Law is proposed to ensure healthy soils by 2050.
By setting an example and actively participating in global climate action, the European Green Deal has influenced international partners to establish their own climate neutrality goals. With significant investments in renewable energy technologies and a shift toward green transport, the EU is not only fostering its domestic industries but also contributing to global emissions reduction efforts.
At the COP27 Summit in Egypt in 2022, the EU demonstrated ambition and flexibility, playing a crucial role in maintaining the Paris Agreement's targets. The EU's commitment extends to providing substantial climate finance to developing economies, emphasizing its leadership role in the global effort to combat climate change.