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Tackling environmental challenges: the European Green Deal

According to relevant scientists, climate change is with high probability a phase that our planet is living through as a result of its natural development worsened by human intervention. This is an ongoing process that will stop when our planet finds a new equilibrium.

Our task? Reduce the menace as much as we can!

Thanks to Greta Thunberg’s silent protest, climate change and environmental issues have started to regain resonance all over the world, spreading a renewed sensibility.

Governments are trying to revolutionise the whole current system: from energy sources to production methods, from raw materials used in production to recycling technologies, from a more equal society to ethical investments. An ambitious project that the European Union is the first one to want to make true.

It is an effort that the European Commission wants to accomplish in particular in order to transform the existent infrastructure that is energy. So as to foster the development of green technologies and green companies, it needs to adopt demand-oriented and supply-oriented policies. The first set of policies will have an effect on the market structure and consist of environmental legislations which should have an impact on energy consumption models; they are an important signal of market potentials. Supply-oriented policies, on the other hand, will encourage companies to migrate their own investments to renewable energy sources and focus on how energy shall be produced and distributed; more specifically, they influence the development pace of innovative green technologies. In concrete, they subsidize companies in the long term hoping to accelerate the realization of this industrial revolution.

Following the principles of these approaches, the European Commission has drafted a document that stands out in its commitment to tackle climate and environmental-related challenges. More specifically, the Green Deal sets out a new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a zero greenhouse emission area by 2050 and develop a new growth scenario that is decoupled from resource use. In addition, this document pursues the construction of a coherent financial system that supports sustainable solutions. The proposals pointed out are the following:

  • New circular economy action plan that will take advantage of the opportunities presented by the circular economy and will also include a “sustainable products policy” aimed to prioritise reusing materials before recycling them.

  • Specific requirements for all packaging in the EU market to be reusable and recyclable.

  • Consumer-oriented policy which will empower common people to make more informed choices.

  • Integrated single market for secondary raw material that will diminish the manufacturing costs, ensure a permanent supply, and reduced materials and energy use.

  • Sustainable European investment plan that will combine dedicated financing to support sustainable investments with proposals for an improved enabling framework that is conducive to green investment.

Specifically, 30% of the InvestEU Fund will go to strengthening cooperation among international banks and institutions, which can enhance an overall greening of their activities. Moreover, the Commission will review the role of the Innovation and Modernization Funds in order to intensify their effectiveness in setting up innovative and climate-neutral solutions across Europe. The European Investment Bank will become Europe’s climate bank. These institutions will work contextually in classifying the environmentally sustainable activities and they will cooperate with the private sector in defining an investment plan on those activities.

Every measure just described is going to be put in force during the current year and the next one in order to prevent any waste of precious time. Indeed, the European Green Deal Investment Plan and the Just Transition Mechanism have just been officially adopted as pillars of this new industrial revolution. Moreover, the month of March is going to be decisive because agricultural companies and markets are going to be transformed by the Farm to Fork Strategy, the European Industrial Strategy and Circular Economy Action Plan.

The green wave has been unleashed and the EU is making sure that the shore will be prepared to welcome it.

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