11 December 2019, the European Commission presented the European Green Deal.
Climate change and environmental degradation present an existential threat to Europe and the world. To overcome this challenge, Europe needs a new growth strategy that transforms the Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: "The European Green Deal is our new growth strategy. It shows how to transform our way of living and working, of producing and consuming so that we live healthier and make our businesses innovative. We can all be involved in the transition and we can all benefit from the opportunities."
The European Union already has a strong track record in reducing its emissions of greenhouse gases while maintaining economic growth. Emissions in 2018 were 23% lower than in 1990 while the Union's GDP grew by 61% in the same period. But more needs to be done.
The European Green Deal provides a roadmap with actions to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy and stop climate change, reverse biodiversity loss and cut pollution. It outlines investments needed and financing tools available, and explains how to ensure a just and inclusive transition.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen pointed out: "Our goal is to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, slowing down global warming and mitigating its effects."
At the European Council on 12–13 December 2019, EU leaders endorsed the objective of making the EU climate-neutral by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement. They took note of the Commission communication on the European Green Deal and asked the Council to take work forward.
While the EU is committed to spearheading the global fight against climate change, it cannot stand alone. International cooperation is essential, and Europe’s leaders will continue to work together with global partners, including Russia, in multilateral fora to turn political goals into reality.
"I want to make climate action a key priority in our cooperation with partner countries," said the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell. "Therefore, as we embark on this new phase of 'Green Deal diplomacy', our EU Delegations will step up engagement with their host countries to advocate for the EU's vision of the transition towards a sustainable future. We will use all the means at our disposal," he added.