The EU has adopted a long-term strategy for achieving carbon neutrality in three decades or so.
The EU has adopted a long-term strategy for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The timing couldn’t be better, with the kick-off of the 24th global climate summit in Poland where the EU can preside as a global leader on climate change, coaxing others to raise the bar on global climate action.
The strategy is aimed at a wide range of stakeholders. It emphasizes technical solutions, citizen engagement and coordination of policies across sectors during the transition. It is also expected to enhance Europe’s competitiveness on the global markets.
However, still absent is a clear list of activities and targets, although the aim of the present document is different. The idea, the EU says, is to “create a vision and sense of direction” for effective climate solutions combined with sustainable economic growth. The document highlights the need for energy efficiency, renewables, mobility, a circular economy, infrastructure development and bio-economy as key focus areas.
“We cannot safely live on a planet with the climate that is out of control. But that does not mean that to reduce emissions, we should sacrifice the livelihoods of Europeans,” Maroš Šefčovič, the vice-president responsible for the Energy Union, commented on the document. “
Over the last years, we have shown how to reduce emissions, while creating prosperity, high-quality local jobs, and improving people’s quality of life. Europe will inevitably continue to transform,” he added. “Our strategy now shows that by 2050, it is realistic to make Europe both climate neutral and prosperous, while leaving no European and no region behind.”
While few EU members are succeeding at meeting their climate targets, there are ways that this ambitious vision could be realized. For example, a recent Mission Possible report suggests that complete decarbonization by 2050 in the developed world is both economically and technically possible. A new roadmap by a global group of scientists also proposes a similarly optimistic scenario.