EU Climate Action
Email from Mauro Petriccione
Director-General for Climate Action, European Commission 2021 0923
With summer now behind us, last week saw European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen give her annual speech on the State of the European Union. As well as looking back on one of the toughest years in recent history and commending the EU’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the President also spelled out some of the EU’s most important achievements over the last 12 months. Many of these milestones will prove essential for our green transition: Europe’s first Climate Law; the launch of the European Climate Pact, continued engagement with our international partners to increase their ambition ahead of COP26; the Adaptation Strategy and national recovery and resilience plans to build back greener economies. Most Member States have now drawn up and submitted their national plans, and the Commission has already begun to make the first payments from the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The level of support each EU country receives is based on a set of criteria that account for the national circumstances, including population, GDP and employment rate. Of the projected total of €723.8 billion, 37% of the funds will be dedicated to supporting climate investments and reforms, which, along with other instruments, will help to upgrade the European economy and empower European workers to make a success of the green transition.
Most recently, in July, we presented a set of proposals to deliver the European Green Deal and achieve our aim of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, and becoming climate-neutral by 2050. As detailed in our previous edition, these proposals, expand upon existing climate and energy policy to bring about the transformational change we need to see across our economy and society. The proposals are based on comprehensive impact assessments, which show that this mix of existing legislation and a number of new initiatives will make the new ambitious -55% net emissions reduction target for 2030 achievable. This will be matched by our commitment to making the transition to climate neutrality socially fair, leaving no one behind.
Of course, the State of the Union is also looks to the future, and the President set out the flagship initiatives that will guide the Commission’s agenda through the next year and beyond. At this pivotal moment for the future of planet, the team at DG Climate Action are working hard to prepare the way for successful COP26 negotiations in Glasgow in November. Beyond that, our efforts will remain focussed on building support for the ambition of July’s proposals as they move through the inter-institutional process, as well for upcoming legislative proposals on ozone-depleting substances, F-gases and CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles. Furthermore, we have just published the roadmap for a proposal on carbon removal certification. The initiative will aim to develop a long-term vision for sustainable carbon cycles including the capture, storage, and use of CO2 in a climate-neutral EU economy, and to kick-start the development of technological and nature-based solutions. We welcome your views on this, and you can submit your feedback here until 7 October 2021.
International climate finance will be an important topic in Glasgow, and it also figured prominently in the President’s speech, with the announcement that the EU would make available an additional €4 billion for climate finance until 2027. The President urged partners such as the United States to step up their contributions too, to ensure that the world’s least developed and most vulnerable countries are able to embrace the green transition. To ensure a healthy and prosperous future, we must all do our part.
Director-General for Climate Action, European Commission