What Has Europe’s Green New Deal Accomplished In Its First Year?
All the chaos of 2020—including the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. presidential election—has largely pushed climate change out of the headlines. But just over a year ago, the Youth Climate Movement was at its peak. Millions of people were protesting government inaction in the face of rising global temperatures.
Nearly everything about the world has changed since then. And while the incoming Biden Administration has said it will adopt parts of the “Green New Deal,” the U.S. has failed to capitalize on the momentum of last year’s Global Climate Strikes.
In Europe, however, the European Commission unveiled the “European Green New Deal in December of 2019. This 24-page document lays out a plan to make Europe climate neutral by 2050.
Despite the pandemic, the commission has since made progress on many of its climate goals. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen took pains in her European “State of the Union” address this past September to spell out how the European economy could emerge stronger from the global pandemic, with help from the Green Deal.
“The mission of the European Green Deal involves much more than cutting emissions,” she said. “It is about building a stronger world to live in.” She added, “This is a plan for a true recovery. It is an investment plan for Europe.”
On the one year anniversary of the announcement of the European Green Deal, guest host John Dankosky talks with Frederic Simon, energy and environmental editor for EUROACTIV and Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, as they reflect back on the progress the EU has made towards its ambitious climate goals.
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Frédéric Simon is energy and environmental editor for euroactive.com in Brussels, Belgium.
Richard Fuchs is a senior research fellow at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Robert Ward is policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment of the London School of Economics and Political Science in London, United Kingdom.