Building back ‘greener’? The EU’s Green Deal sets new targets – and law…

Whilst the world is still in the grips of the global pandemic, many of our politicians and legislators have been appealing to our optimism of how we will ‘build back better / greener’ on the other side of covid. But whilst it is unclear as to how this will actually play out, the EU has recently announced fundamental steps to set new emissions targets as part of their Green Deal. And these, will be law.

So what is on the table? Well, in the first phase of the Green Deal, the EU’s goal was to reduce emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2020. This has been achieved, which, on the face of it is exceedingly good news… but it doesn’t go anywhere near the reductions that need to be hit annually to get near the targets that are looming for 2030.

The new legislation being brought in as part of the Green Deal for the EU will be the target of 55% reduction in emissions from the 1990’s level, so effectively, a 35% reduction in less than a decade. And that 20% reduction that has been achieved? That took three decades, which puts the new targets – and law – into perspective.

However, this at least is a solid start – and essentially, it means that there will need to me more than one cunning plan to achieve it. At present, the plans are not yet public, but will likely mean a huge shift in the decarbonisation of our power grids, our transportation and much more. It has been reported that renewables, if scaled at speed, would only account for a 40% reduction, so there is still a gap.

We often hear that this will be the ‘decade of change’ – if the EU is committed to that 55% reduction, we will need it to be. A change in industry and consumption, as well as energy and transport. Just like we saw with the pandemic – and beyond.

carry on the discussion...

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