EU Unveils Strategy to Achieve Climate Neutrality by 2050
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The EU’s long-term climate strategy seeks to ensure a transition that is socially fair and enhances the competitiveness of the EU economy and industry on global markets.

The strategy will enable the EU to adopt and submit to the UNFCCC an ambitious strategy by early 2020.

29 November 2018: The European Commission has announced a long-term strategy (LTS) for the EU to become climate neutral by 2050, in partnership with all stakeholders and through the development of new and innovative industries, businesses and related jobs.

The strategy titled, ‘A Clean Planet for All’ and adopted in advance of the Katowice Climate Change Conference, which is convening from 2-14 December in Poland, shows how Europe can achieve climate neutrality by investing in technological solutions, empowering citizens and aligning action in areas such as industrial policy, finance and research. It seeks to ensure a transition that is socially fair and enhances the competitiveness of the EU economy and industry on global markets, secures high quality jobs and sustainable growth in Europe and helps address other environmental challenges, such as air quality or biodiversity loss.

Europe will be the world’s first major economy to go for net-zero emissions by 2050.

The strategy requires joint action in seven 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; and carbon capture and storage (CCS). On the role of the transport sector, for example, the strategy will support a system approach with low and zero emission vehicles, a strong increase in rail network capacity and a more efficiently organized transport system, based on digitalization, behavioral change incentives, and alternative fuels and smart infrastructure.

During a press conference introducing the strategy, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, said that Europe will be the world’s first major economy to go for net-zero emissions by 2050. He noted the strategy will:

  • give businesses and investors clear direction;
  • help stimulate new thinking, competitiveness, creativity and innovation;
  • create new economic sectors and employment opportunities;
  • stimulate investments in European clean energy solutions; and
  • positively impact Europe’s GDP.

In developing its strategy, the Commission studied eight pathways that included a range of technological and organizational options to reduce emissions, with some focusing on specific technologies or options, and others focusing more on demand-side measures, such as promotion of energy efficiency or circular economy. The strategy covers nearly all EU policies and sectors, is in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and will enable the EU to adopt and submit to the UNFCCC an ambitious strategy by early 2020. [EU Press Release] [Speech by European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy] [Strategy Fact Sheet]


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