Climate & Industry
Climate & Industry
The European Green Deal, presented by the European Commission President in December 2019, outlines Europe’s vision to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Proposing policies and overarching targets for emissions reductions, the EU Green Deal provides a ‘growth strategy’ for every major aspect of the European economy from energy to food, transport to manufacturing and construction as well as goals to halt biodiversity loss and reduce pollution.
This ambitious policy agenda aims to transform the European Union from a high to low carbon economy by boosting European industry competitiveness and encouraging private sector investment, while ensuring a fair and inclusive transition for workers in the regions affected.
Major policy areas of the EU Green Deal are:
- Climate Action
- Clean/Renewable Energy
- Circular Economy
- Sustainable buildings and construction
- Sustainable Mobility
- Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
- Eliminating Pollution
Europe’s ‘Green Recovery’ Plan
The Next Generation EU plan proposed on 27 May 2020, sets out a stimulus package of EUR750 billion of loans and grants that places climate change at the centre of Europe’s post-pandemic economic recovery. Priority sectors identified for investment include a ‘renovation wave’ for building energy efficiency and green heating, acceleration of renewable energy and green hydrogen, clean mobility and the transition to a circular economy. These funds are additional to EU’s long term €1.1 trillion multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021 – 2027, which was adopted by the European Council in December 2020.
Recently proposed and launched key policy directives and strategies under the EU Green Deal include:
- EU Green Deal
- European Sustainable Investment Plan (presented in January 2020)
- Just Transition Mechanism (presented in January 2020 and endorsed by EU ambassadors in December 2020)
- EU Climate Law (proposal endorsed by EU Council in December 2020)
- European Climate Pact (presented in March 2020)
- European Industrial Strategy (adopted in March 2020)
- EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 (presented in May 2020)
- EU Strategies for Energy System Integration and Hydrogen (adopted in July 2020)
- 2030 Climate Target Plan (55% greenhouse gas emission reduction target endorsed by EU Council in December 2020)
- Renovation Wave (presented in October 2020)
- Methane Strategy and Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (both presented in October 2020)
Previously issued policies to be reviewed to ensure alignment with the EU Green Deal include:
During 2020/2021 further policies proposed for release include:
- Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism for selected sectors (scheduled for 2021)
Australia’s first National determined contributions (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) includes an economy-wide target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030. Australia will submit its next NDC, with a post–2030 target, to the UNFCCC in 2025.
For information on Australia’s climate change strategies and on how it is meeting its international climate change commitments, check the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources webpage.
Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap will be a core element of delivering on these targets. The First Low Emissions Technology Statement released in September 2020 outlines five priority low emissions technologies and stretch goals to make the technologies cost-competitive with current alternatives, for example ‘clean’ hydrogen production, low carbon materials such as steel and aluminium, energy storage, carbon capture and storage and soil carbon.