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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented on 11 December 2019 a new growth strategy for Europe, the European Green Deal initiative, aiming to reach a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 to face the current and future environmental challenges.

The European Green Deal responds to urgent climate and environmental challenges that the world is facing today.  Besides an ambitious environmental policy, it is also a new growth strategy for prosperous and fair countries, healthy and well-being future generations and resource-efficient economies. The Green Deal positions Europe as the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050, while bringing new jobs, a cleaner environment and a better quality of life to the European continent and beyond. It is shaping European ambitions by presenting concrete actions to improve the well-being and health of citizens and future generations, as well as companies and societies.

An investment plan that will boost Europe’s growth

As part of the Green Deal, the European Commission presented the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan on 14 January 2020. The Investment Plan will mobilise public investment and help to unlock private funds through EU financial instruments, notably InvestEU. Altogether, the financing package aims to mobilise over €1 trillion in sustainable investments.

An important element of the Green deal is the promise of “leaving no-one behind”, which will be implemented with a ‘Just Transition Mechanism’, aimed at helping regions and sectors most affected by the transition. The Mechanism will mobilise at least €100bn in funding from the EU’s Regional Development Fund and the Social Fund, from the InvestEU programme and the European Investment Bank.

Stepping up ambition to reach climate neutrality

The Commission’s vision is to modernise and transform the economy to reach climate neutrality by 2050. For this reason, the first European “Climate Law” will be presented by March 2020. To reach the 2050 target of a climate-neutral continent, the EU’s climate ambition already for 2030 will be revised by a 50-55% cut in greenhouse gas emissions to replace the current objective of 40%.

Roadmap of actions in several policy areas

TheGreen Deal includes a roadmap of action points within several policy areas: climate ambition, clean energy, sustainable industry, building and renovating, sustainable mobility, biodiversity, fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system, eliminating pollution.

At national level, Luxembourg submitted end of 2019 to the European Commission the Luxembourg’s National Energy and Climate Plan.. This national plan is already part of the Clean Energy Package and will be assessed as part of the Green Deal Action Plan during the summer 2020.

 

Research and innovation has a pivotal role to implement the Green Deal

New technologies, sustainable solutions and disruptive innovation are needed to reach the ambitious targets. Research and innovation activities will align with the Green Deal to support its aims and objectives.

Horizon Europe, the next EU’s research and innovation framework programme, will have a budgetary target of 35% for climate activities. With regard to initiatives – which are the novelty of the programme – four out of five will deal with climate and environment issues.

The ecological transformation needs to be supported by a digital transformation, where accessible and interoperable data are at the heart. The European Commission is committed to support the digital transformation. Data, digital infrastructure and artificial intelligence will help to understand and tackle environmental challenges.

Within the scope of the Horizon 2020 programme and the upcoming Horizon Europe, Luxinnovation’s European R&D and Innovation support team will help you identify opportunities to work together with other European players towards a more sustainable, green deal for all.

 

To learn more about the European Green Deal:

Luxinnovation is the National Contact Point for Horizon 2020, the European framework programme for research and innovation. Building on our decade-long experience of EU funding programmes, we are able to respond to questions on where to get up-to-date information on programmes and calls for project proposals, what programmes are the most suitable for you or where and how to find European partners.

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