The next few years will be crucial for Europe and our planet. The European Union will have to face the enormous challenge of planning and structuring its ecological transition, an objective already set by the European Commission in December 2019, but in which member states will have a fundamental role.

The first seed was planted on 30 April 2021, when the EU countries submitted their Recovery Plans to the Commission. From now to 2026, reforms and investments on the environment will be defined by each Member State. The European Green Deal is not a mere replacement of fossil energy resources with renewable ones, but is a social and economic revolution that will lead the EU of the future and balance the needs of modern society with environmental respect. 

In particular, the European Green Deal will transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, ensuring no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, an economic growth decoupled from resource use, while leaving no one behind. The European Green Deal is also our lifeline out of the COVID-19 pandemic. One third of the 1.8 trillion euro investments from the NextGenerationEU, and the EU’s seven-year budget will finance the European Green Deal.

The European Green Deal aims at: 

🚘 ​​Making transport sustainable for all, reducing cars and vans’ emission by at least 55% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels); 

🏡 Leading the 3rd Industrial Revolution, renewing 35 million buildings by 2030 and creating 160,000 additional green jobs in the construction sector by 2030;

♻️ Cleaning the EU energy system, increasing the target of renewable sources in the EU’s energy mix to 40% by 2030;

🍃 Working with nature to protect our planet and health, restoring Europe’s forests, soils, wetlands and peatlands;

🌍 Boosting global climate action, ensuring that 30% of the EU’s Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument supports climate objectives. 

Citizens will have a major impact on this topic!

Over these months, the 3rd European Citizens’ Panel has been held to discuss Climate change, environment and Health. The European citizens had the chance to discuss on major topics such as agriculture, transport and mobility, energy and the transition to post-carbon societies, research, healthcare systems, responses to health crises, prevention and healthy lifestyles and the missions under Horizon Europe aiming to solve some of the greatest challenges facing our world like fighting cancer, adapting to climate change, protecting our oceans, living in greener cities and ensuring soil health and food.

Would you like to add your contributions to this topic? 

The first step to making your voice heard is registering on the Conference on the Future of Europe platform: http://futureu.europa.eu. Once you log in, it’s time to share your ideas on how to build a healthier Europe for everyone. You are entitled to 1500 characters to present your idea, and approve or comment on those of others, in any of the 24 EU official languages.

Presented in April 2021, the multilingual digital platform of the Conference is playing a key role, enabling all the EU citizens -but also public actors & all kinds of organisations from civil society- to provide their views & opinions on any relevant topic for the future of Europe.

 

By Jacopo Scipione
Project and Policy Support
garagErasmus Foundation