11 Dec, 2019

Liberals key to achieve the European Green Deal

Ethan Arsht

After 11 days of taking office and pursuant to the climate emergency declaration by the European Parliament, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented what she called the Europe’s man on the moon moment – the European Green Deal. This unique deal comes as a roadmap of action formed by 50 key policies to complete the green transition and make Europe the leader on climate action.

A “Just Transition Mechanism and a Sustainable Europe Investment Plan” to be presented in January 2020 and a European Climate Law intended to increase the emissions reduction target to 50-55% in 2030 and to be presented in March are amongst the measures included in this deal (see the full communication here).

The portfolios assigned to the liberal Commissioners are at the heart of the main ambitions of the European Green Deal:

Margrethe Vestager, as Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age, has the role of maintaining Europe’s global industrial leadership while accelerating its digital transformation and transition towards a climate-neutrality economy. The stimulation of artificial intelligence and competition policy which combines the upgrade of liability and safety rules for services and products are two of the major contributions to achieve this goal.

As Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson aims to provide opportunities for alternative, affordable and cleaner sources of energy. Simson has established three pillars of the energy policy: (1) people: achieve climate neutrality showing “tangible benefits” for consumers, households, and SMEs; (2) planet: cut greenhouse gas emissions “further and faster” with new targets for energy efficiency and renewables; and (3) partnerships: international cooperation including a proposal for an EU’s border carbon tax to protect European industries from unfair competition.

Thierry Breton will support the transition to a climate-neutral economy. His contribution as Commissioner for Internal Market is to ensure a strong industrial dimension in the Green Deal by making Europe’s industry green, digital and globally competitive and to guarantee that big and small companies are also part of this transition. Breton will uptake climate-friendly and new technologies and build Europe’s technological sovereignty.

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