Part 1: The European Green Deal.
On July 14, 2021, the European Commission, led by climate commissioner Frans Timmermans, presents the European Green Deal (EGD). To ensure the implementation, the European Commission adopts the Fit for 55. In 2023, everyone is looking at the European Commission to release the final version of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). ‘What does all of this mean for me?’ many wonder. We take these legislations and reporting frameworks apart and explain what this means for Logistics in this series of articles.
What is the European Green Deal?
The European Green Deal is EU’s long-term growth strategy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 as the first continent in the world. All 27 EU Member States committed themselves to this ambitious goal. Together they set targets and proposed measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while also promoting sustainable economic growth and social equity. All of this to ensure that we, and the generations after us, have a fair, green, and prosperous future.
Zooming in: Key components of the European Green Deal
Policies, initiatives and targets
The European Green Deal consists of several key components. These include policies, initiatives to promote the use of renewable energy sources, improve energy efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Besides, it includes important targets set around these topics. For example, emissions need to be reduced by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, as set in the Fit For 55 package. The target set for the amount of energy generated from green sources by 2030 in the EU is 40%.
The transport sector
The plan also aims to transform the EU’s transport sector. The EGD promotes low-emission mobility, including the development of electric vehicles, and the improvement of public transport infrastructure. From 2026, road transport will be covered by emissions trading, thereby putting a price on pollution. From 2035, new cars have to be emission free. To make this possible, the European Commission introduced a new law on March 28, 2023: the Regulation for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (AFIR). This new law sets mandatory deployment targets for electric recharging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure for the road sector, for shore-side electricity supply in maritime and inland waterway ports, and for electricity supply to stationary aircraft.
Circular economy, healthy ecosystems and social justice
Another key component is the circular economy. The aim is to reduce waste and promote the reuse and recycling of materials. The EGD also includes measures to protect biodiversity and enhance the resilience of ecosystems. Initiatives support sustainable agriculture and forestry. Furthermore, the EGD includes a focus on social justice. Policies are aimed at ensuring a just transition for workers and communities affected by the transition to a sustainable economy.
The European Green Deal affects us all
Together, these components form a comprehensive strategy for a sustainable future for Europe. They demonstrate the EU’s commitment to global climate action and sustainable development. However, while the EU and its member states are further working on the ‘nitty-gritty’ of the legislations and frameworks, the actual action takes place on the ground, requiring behavior change from all of us. What this means for Logistics will be explained in the second article of this series.