What is the New Green Deal

The European Green Deal is a policy statement of the European Commission that outlines the European strategy for dealing with climate emergency over the next 30 years. The goal is to reach CO2 neutrality in 2050, and it is going to be the single most important action plan in Europe over the next decades.

1992  Rio Summit 
Since 1997  Annual Conference of the Parties
1997  Kyoto Protocol 
2015  Paris Agreement 

Climate change has been in the international policy agenda for 30 years and CO2 emissions keep increasing because no country respects the commitments. The reason for this lack of engagement is that all the past protocols and agreements were not legally binding and did not include effective sanctions.

This Green Deal is different. The main element is the climate law, which is an act that will enshrine CO2 neutrality in legislation. This is an extraordinarily important step because legislation is binding and typically includes sanctions.

New Green Deal - ozone hole

And that worked well in the past. A good example on how the world can work together for the environment was the Montreal Protocol in 1987 for dealing with the ozone hole that ever since is slowing disappearing. That Protocol also included trade sanctions for non-compliant countries.

New Green Deal - European flags 

Whether the Green Deal will actually work is too early to say. The statement released on December 11 is a draft. Decision making in the EU is complex and it involves not only the European Commission but also the European Council and the European Parliament. The three institutions need to agree on the statement first, and then make it operational with regulations and financing mechanisms. That is a long process and they must move on quickly.

New Green Deal - CO2 emissions

Will climate warming decelerate if the Green Deal is applied at full extent? As things are today, the answer is no. Today EU CO2 equivalent emissions represent about 9% of global emissions and this percentage is decreasing. If China and India do not engage in an effective, clear and quick action plan for reducing emissions, global temperatures will continue raising and we will not reach the targets of the Paris agreement.

However, the EU can and should influence China and India. The EU has the planetary and moral obligation use diplomacy and trade agreements for the global reduction of CO2 emissions. This is also clearly stated in the Green Deal.

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