Policies, measures and actions on climate change and
environmental protection in the context of COVID-19 recovery.
The European Commission
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Through Next Generation EU (NGEU) and a revamped EU budget for the period 2021-2027, every euro of investment will be made available to get Europe back on its feet, while accelerating the twin green and digital transitions and building a fairer and more resilient society. This is a real opportunity to unlock billions of euro’s to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. Thirty percent of the 1.82 trillion EUR under the 2021-2027 EU budget and the NGEU will go to climate-related spending. This translates to more than EUR 500 billion in the next seven years to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. The EU spending will be in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and will follow the 'do no harm' principle.
The green economic recovery agenda is driven by scientific evidence and economic logic. The European Green Deal and the digital transformation agenda are growth strategies for a more sustainable, inclusive, resilient and future proof economy and reinvigorated Single Market. They will be the red thread running through our recovery initiatives and will contribute to delivering the EU’s open strategic autonomy objectives.
To make this possible, the Commission and Member States will ensure that all available planning tools for the European Green Deal are used coherently. The most important of these are the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP) and the proposed Strategic National Plans to implement the common agricultural policy. The National Recovery and Resilience Plans to be presented and implemented by the EU Member States under the NGEU initiative are also expected to decisively contribute to the green economic recovery.
As part of Europe's recovery, the European Commission has adjusted its Work Programme for 2020, remaining fully determined to deliver on the European Green Deal, and at the same time responding to the coronavirus pandemic by refocusing its work and prioritising the actions needed to propel Europe's recovery and resilience.
(1) Next Generation EU - the EU's recovery instrument embedded within a revamped long-term EU budget - to ensure that the recovery is sustainable, even, inclusive and fair for all EU Member States - proposed by the Commission (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_940)
(2) Climate mainstreaming of the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 and Next Generation EU - 30% climate spending target as per European Council conclusions of 21 July - currently under negotiation by EU legislators (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM%3A2020%3A442%3AFIN; https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/45109/210720-euco-final-conclusions-en.pdf; https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/budget/mainstreaming_en)
(3) European Green Deal Communication - setting out the EU green trategy - adopted by the Commission (https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/communication-european-green-deal_en)
(4) Recovery and Resilience Facility: where Member States present National Recovery and Resilience Plans addressing the green and digital transition, in line with the European Semester, National Energy and Climate Plans, and Territorial Just Transition Plans - proposed by the Commission (https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/com_2020_408_en_act_part1_v9.pdf; https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/health/coronavirus-response/recovery-plan-europe_en)
(5) REACT EU - Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe - an initiative that continues and extends the crisis response and crisis repair measures. It will contribute to a green, digital and resilient recovery of the economy - proposed by the Commission (https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docgener/factsheet/2020_mff_reacteu_en.pdf; https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_20_948)
(6) The SME Strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe provides a support framework notably for the recovery of SMEs while responding to the continent's sustainability and digitalisation ambitions and making SMEs more resilient - adopted by the Commission (https://ec.europa.eu/knowledge4policy/publication/communication-com2020103-sme-strategy-sustainable-digital-europe_en)
Note: The term adopted is used for non-legislative initiatives that have been adopted by the Commission. The term proposed is used for legislative initiatives that have been proposed by the Commission and are subject for approval and adoption through the EU's legislative decision-making procedures.
- Emergency measures in the short term (a few months to one year) to address concerns that have directly emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic and may include forced action.
- Socioeconomic measures in the medium term (one to a few years) with an environmental and climate focus to “build back better” from COVID-19, and usually involves planned, intentional action.
- Paradigm shifts and measures in the long term (more than a few years to a few decades) toward redesigning current socioeconomic and sociocultural systems to be sustainable and resilient.
1.Climate mitigation measures
Response Recovery RedesignWith the European Commission proposal for EU long term strategy - A Clean Planet for all A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy (28.11.2018) - and the European Green Deal (11.12.2019), the European Commission set out a clear vision of how to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This vision was the basis for the long-term strategy that the EU submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in early 2020.
The European Green Deal is a new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use.
To set out clearly the conditions for an effective and fair transition, to provide predictability for investors, and to ensure that the transition is irreversible, the European Commission proposed the first European ‘Climate Law’ in 2020. This will enshrine the 2050 climate neutrality objective in legislation. The Climate Law will also ensure that all EU policies contribute to the climate neutrality objective and that all sectors play their part.
The European Commission will also present a plan to increase the EU’s greenhouse gas emission reductions target for 2030 to at least 50% and towards 55% compared with 1990 levels in a responsible way. To deliver these additional greenhouse gas emissions reductions, the European Commission will, by June 2021, review and propose to revise where necessary, all relevant climate-related policy instruments.
Response Recovery RedesignEuropean Climate Law - initiative enshrining the EU's climate neutrality objective through a legally binding target of net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 - proposed by the CommissionContact European Commission
Response Recovery Redesign2030 Climate Target Plan - to increase the EU's greenhouse gas emission reduction target for 2030 to at least 50% and towards 55% - initiative foreseen in Q3 2020Reference https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12265-2030-Climate-Target-Plan/public-consultation
https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/eu-climate-action/law_enContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignProposals for revisions of relevant legislative measures to deliver on the increased climate ambition, following the review of Emissions Trading System Directive; Effort Sharing Regulation; Land use, land use change and forestry Regulation; Energy Efficiency Directive; Renewable Energy Directive; CO2 emissions performance standards for cars and vans - initiatives foreseen in 2021Contact European Commission
Transition to renewable energyFurther decarbonising the energy system is critical to reach climate objectives in 2030 and 2050. The production and use of energy across economic sectors account for more than 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. The EU will prioritise Energy efficiency. The EU power sector will be developed based largely on renewable sources, complemented by the rapid phasing out of coal and decarbonising gas. At the same time, the EU will ensure that energy supply is secure and affordable for consumers and businesses. For this to happen, the EU will ensure that the European energy market is fully integrated, interconnected and digitalised, while respecting technological neutrality.
Moreover, clean and efficient energy investments can strengthen our economies, create jobs and welfare, and address social and environmental challenges during the recovery phase. Investments in clean energy supply and energy efficiency, in particular in energy and materials efficient buildings (involving the construction sector), have a proven track-record in terms of local job creation and positive macro-economic impact.
Response Recovery RedesignEU strategy on offshore renewable energy - initiative foreseen in Q4 2020Reference https://ec.europa.eu/energy/topics/renewable-energy/eu-strategy-offshore-renewable-energy_enContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignProposal for a revision of the Energy Taxation Directive - aligning taxation of energy products and electricity with EU climate and energy policies - initiative foreseen in Q2 2021Reference https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12227-Revision-of-the-Energy-Tax-DirectiveContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignLegislation on batteries in support of the Strategic Action Plan on Batteries and the circular economy - initiative foreseen in Q3 2020Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignA hydrogen strategy for a climate neutral Europe - adopted by the CommissionContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignEU strategy on energy system integration - optimisation of the energy system through linking energy carriers with each other and with end use sectors - adopted by the CommissionContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignTrans-European energy infrastructure - revision of guidelines - initiative foreseen in 2020Reference https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12382-Revision-of-the-guidelines-for-trans-European-Energy-infrastructure/public-consultation (documentation for public consultation - now closed)Contact European Commission
OthersResponse Recovery RedesignEU methane Strategy - initiative foreseen in 2020Reference https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12504-EU-Methane-Strategy (documentation for public consultation - now closed)Contact European Commission
Sustainable transportationTransport accounts for a quarter of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, and still growing. To achieve climate neutrality, a 90% reduction in transport emissions is needed by 2050. Whislt road, rail, aviation, and waterborne transport will all have to contribute to the reduction, intermodality and the shift of passenger and freight transport to more sustainable modes will also play an important part. Achieving sustainable transport means putting users first and providing them with more affordable, accessible, healthier and cleaner alternatives to their current mobility habits. The European Commission will adopt a strategy for sustainable and smart mobility in 2020 that will address this challenge and tackle all emission sources, and provide a blueprint for restoring and reshaping European connectivity.
Response Recovery RedesignSustainable and smart mobility strategy - initiative foreseen in Q4 2020Reference https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12438-Sustainable-and-Smart-Mobility-StrategyContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignReFuelEU Aviation - Sustainable aviation fuels - initiative foreseen in Q4 2020Reference https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12303-ReFuelEU-Aviation-Sustainable-Aviation-FuelsContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignFuelEU Maritime - Green European Maritime Space - to increase the use of sustainable alternative fuels in European shipping and ports - initiative foreseen in Q4 2020Reference https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12312-FuelEU-Maritime-Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignFunding call to support the deployment of public recharging and refuelling points as part of alternative fuel infrastructure - from 2020Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignAssessment of legislative options to boost the production and supply of sustainable alternative fuels for the different transport modes - from 2020Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignRevised proposal for a Directive on Combined Transport - supporting multimodal freight operations involving rail and waterborne transport, including short-sea shipping - initiative foreseen in 2021Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignRevision of the directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure - initiative foreseen in 2021Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignRevision of the guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network - initiative foreseen in 2021Reference https://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/infrastructure/ten-t_en#:~:text=The%20Trans%2DEuropean%20Transport%20Network,ports%2C%20airports%20and%20railroad%20terminalsContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignInitiatives to increase and better manage the capacity of railways and inland waterways - from 2021Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignProposal for more stringent air pollutant emission standards for combustion-engine vehicles - initiative foreseen in 2021Contact European Commission
Building sectorThe construction, use and renovation of buildings require significant amounts of energy and mineral resources (e.g. sand, gravel, cement). Buildings also account for 40% of energy consumed. Today the annual renovation rate of the building stock varies from 0.4 to 1.2% in the Member States. This rate will need at least to double to reach the EU’s energy efficiency and climate objectives. In parallel, 50 million consumers struggle to keep their homes adequately warm.
To address the twin challenge of energy efficiency and affordability, the EU and the Member States will engage in a ‘renovation wave’ of public and private buildings. While increasing renovation rates is a challenge, renovation lowers energy bills, and can reduce energy poverty. It can also boost the construction sector and is an opportunity to support SMEs and local jobs.
Response Recovery RedesignRenovation Wave - optimising building renovation in the EU, in line with EU climate objectives - initiative foreseen in Q3 2020Reference https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12376-Commission-Communication-Renovation-wave-initiative-for-the-building-sector (documentation for public consultation - now closed)Contact European Commission
Industry sectorTo uphold Europe's industrial leadership, the EU's new Industrial Strategy will help deliver on three key priorities: maintaining European industry's global competitiveness and a level playing field, at home and globally, making Europe climate-neutral by 2050, and shaping Europe's digital future.
Together with the industrial strategy, the new circular economy action plan will help modernise the EU’s economy and draw benefit from the opportunities of the circular economy domestically and globally. A key aim of the new policy framework will be to stimulate the development of lead markets for climate neutral and circular products, in the EU and beyond.
The Modernisation Fund will support 10 lower-income EU Member States in their transition to climate neutrality by helping to modernise their energy systems and improve energy efficiency. Moreover, the fund will support investments for a just transition in carbon-dependent regions, including redeployment, re-skilling and up-skilling of workers, education, job-seeking initiatives and start-ups.
New technologies, sustainable solutions and disruptive innovation are critical to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal. Horizon Europe, in synergy with other EU programmes, will play a pivotal role in leveraging national public and private investments. At least 35% of the budget of Horizon Europe will fund new solutions for climate, which are relevant for implementing the Green Deal.
Response Recovery RedesignEU Industrial strategy - to help Europe's industry lead the twin transitions towards climate neutrality and digital leadership - adopted by the CommissionReference https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_416
https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/communication-eu-industrial-strategy-march-2020_en.pdfContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignNew Circular Economy Action Plan - adopted by the CommissionContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignVarying initiatives to stimulate lead markets for climate neutral and circular products in energy intensive industrial sectors - from 2020Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignModernisation Fund - to support EU Member States in their transition to climate neutrality - initiative to start in 2021Contact European Commission
Technological innovation (digitalization / hydrogen/ CCUS‚ etc.)Response Recovery RedesignHorizon Europe - the EU's next research and innovation framework programme for 2021 - 2027 - proposed by the CommissionReference https://ec.europa.eu/info/horizon-europe-next-research-and-innovation-framework-programme_enContact European Commission
2.Climate adaptation measures
Adaptation planningThe Commission will adopt a new, more ambitious EU strategy on adaptation to climate change. This is essential, as climate change will continue to create significant stress in Europe in spite of the mitigation efforts. Strengthening the efforts on climate-proofing, resilience building, prevention and preparedness is crucial. As part of the proposed European Climate Law, Member States will also be required to develop and implement adaptation strategies to strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to the effects of climate change.
Response Recovery RedesignNew EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change - initiative foreseen in 2021Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignEU Member States to develop and implement adaptation strategies - proposed by the European Commission as part of the 'European Climate Law'Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignThe virtual EU Observatory for Climate Change and Health - ongoingReference https://ec.europa.eu/clima/news/commission-launches-online-public-consultation-new-eu-strategy-adaptation-climate-change_en
https://climate-adapt.eea.europa.eu/observatory/evidence/indicators_introContact European Commission
WaterGreater resource efficiency is crucial to protect and restore our biodiversity and maintain our freshwater resources. For example, 90% of biodiversity loss and water stress are caused by resource extraction and processing including the food sector.
Reuse of treated wastewater can be considered a reliable water supply, quite independent from seasonal drought and weather variability and able to cover peaks of water demand. This can be very beneficial to farming activities that can rely on reliable continuity of water supply during the irrigation period, consequently reducing the risk of crop failure and income losses.
Response Recovery RedesignGuidelines for a risk assessment under the Water Reuse Regulation - to be producedReference https://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/reuse.htm
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32020R0741&from=ENContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignFollow-up to the revision of the Floods Directive - ongoingReference https://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/fitness_check_of_the_eu_water_legislation/
https://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/water/interactive/by-category/floods-directiveContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignEU Drinking Water Directive as regards access to safe drinking water for all - implementation phaseReference https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_19_6830
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1583491875802&uri=CONSIL:ST_6060_2020_REV_1Contact European Commission
OthersThe Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) intervenes in all phases of disaster management, namely, prevention, preparedness and response. As part of the UCPM, rescEU is an extra layer of citizen protection in Europe, thereby strengthening European preparedness for disasters. It boosts capacities to respond to forest fires, medical emergencies or chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incidents. Amending the UCPM can ensure that the Union can provide a better crisis and emergency support to its citizens in Europe and beyond. It ensures a more targetted support for prevention activities, seeking synergies with other EU funds, as well as for preparedness, with the development of additional capacities on key areas and enhancing overall resilience at EU level.
OthersResponse Recovery RedesignAmending the Union Civil Protection Mechanism: rescEU - to ensure that the Union can provide a better crisis and emergency support to its citizens in Europe and beyond - proposed by the CommissionReference https://ec.europa.eu/echo/who/about-echo/legal-framework_en
https://ec.europa.eu/echo/what/civil-protection/resceu_enContact European Commission
Sustainable finance (public/private)/market mechanisms/carbon pricingThe European Green Deal Investment Plan (EGDIP), also referred to as Sustainable Europe Investment Plan (SEIP), is the investment pillar of the Green Deal. To achieve the goals set by the European Green Deal, the Plan will mobilise at least €1 trillion in sustainable investments over the next decade. Moreover, it will create an enabling framework for private investors and the public sector to facilitate sustainable investments; and it will provide support to public administrations and project promoters in identifying, structuring and executing sustainable projects.
The private sector will be key to financing the green transition. Long-term signals are needed to direct financial and capital flows to green investment and to avoid stranded assets. The European Commission will present a renewed sustainable finance strategy that will focus on strengthening the foundations for sustainable investment. At the same time, companies and financial institutions will need to increase their disclosure on climate and environmental data so that investors are fully informed about the sustainability of their investments. To this end, the European Commission will review the Non-Financial Reporting Directive.
Moreover, evaluations are underway of the relevant State aid guidelines including the environmental and energy State aid guidelines. The guidelines will be revised by 2021 to reflect the policy objectives of the European Green Deal, supporting a cost-effective transition to climate neutrality by 2050, and will facilitate the phasing out of fossil fuels, in particular those that are most polluting, ensuring a level-playing field in the internal market. These revisions are also an opportunity to address market barriers to the deployment of clean products.
Sustainable finance (public/private)/market mechanisms/carbon pricingResponse Recovery RedesignEuropean Green Deal Investment Plan - the investment pillar of the European Green Deal - proposed by the CommissionContact European Commission
Sustainable finance (public/private)/market mechanisms/carbon pricingResponse Recovery RedesignInnovation Fund to support low carbon innovation in power sector and energy intensive industry - first call for proposals launched in JulyContact European Commission
Sustainable finance (public/private)/market mechanisms/carbon pricingResponse Recovery RedesignRenewed Sustainable Finance Strategy - to strengthen the foundations for sustainable investment - initiative foreseen in Q4 2020Contact European Commission
Sustainable finance (public/private)/market mechanisms/carbon pricingResponse Recovery RedesignEU taxonomy - to help investors, companies, issuers and project promoters navigate the transition to a low-carbon, resilient and resource-efficient economy - entered into force on 12 July 2020Reference https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/banking-and-finance/sustainable-finance/eu-taxonomy-sustainable-activities_enContact European Commission
Sustainable finance (public/private)/market mechanisms/carbon pricingResponse Recovery RedesignReview of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive - on the disclosure of climate and environmental data by companies and financial institutions - initiative foreseen in Q1 2021Reference https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/company-reporting-and-auditing/company-reporting/non-financial-reporting_enContact European Commission
Sustainable finance (public/private)/market mechanisms/carbon pricingResponse Recovery RedesignInitiatives to screen and benchmark green budgeting practices of the Member States and of the EU - from 2020Contact European Commission
Sustainable finance (public/private)/market mechanisms/carbon pricingResponse Recovery RedesignReview of the relevant State aid guidelines, including the environment and energy State aid guidelines - initiative foreseen in 2021Contact European Commission
Citizens’ lives (behaviour change) / employmentAs part of the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, the European Commission proposed a Just Transition Mechanism, including a Just Transition Fund, to leave no one behind. The Just Transition Mechanism focuses on the regions and sectors that are most affected by the transition because they depend on fossil fuels or carbon-intensive processes.
Moreover, helping consumers play their part in the green transition is a key goal of the EU consumer policy revision. Consumer policy will help to empower consumers through reliable and useful information on products, prevention of overstated environmental information and sale of products with a covertly shortened lifespan, and minimum requirements for sustainability logos and labels.
The involvement and commitment of the public and of all stakeholders is crucial to the success of the European Green Deal. The Commission will launch a European Climate Pact to focus on engagement with the public on climate action.
The European Commission is developing a communication campaign on the Recovery Plan to raise awareness of EU actions to tackle the coronavirus crisis and to rekindle a European sense of solidarity and trust. The Recovery Campaign will reach out to citizens in all 27 EU Member States, and in the 24 official EU languages. This campaign will be the flagship communication campaign of the current European Commission mandate under which the European Green Deal and the Digital Strategy for Europe campaigns will be developed.
Citizens’ lives (behaviour change) / employmentResponse Recovery RedesignJust Transition Fund - to support workers and citizens of the regions most impacted by the transition to net zero emissions - proposed by the CommissionReference https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_20_24
https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12113-Fast-track-interservice-consultation-on-the-SEIP-including-a-JTM-and-the-JTF-Contact European Commission
Citizens’ lives (behaviour change) / employmentResponse Recovery RedesignEU consumer policy revision - to empower the consumer to play their part in achieving the green transition - initiative foreseen in Q4 2020Reference https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12467-Empowering-the-consumer-for-the-green-transitionContact European Commission
Citizens’ lives (behaviour change) / employmentResponse Recovery RedesignEuropean Climate Pact - to engage citizens and communities in action for our climate and environment - initiative foreseen in Q3 2020Contact European Commission
Citizens’ lives (behaviour change) / employmentResponse Recovery RedesignEuropean Commission communication campaign on the Recovery plan - to talk to the EU citizens about how the EU is helping to bring about a green and digital recovery from the coronavirus crisis in Europe, building up resilience and strategic autonomy of our economies and societies, including our health systemsReference TBCContact European Commission
4.Other environmental measures
Other environmental pollution countermeasuresCreating a toxic-free environment requires more action to prevent pollution from being generated as well as measures to clean and remedy it. To protect Europe’s citizens and ecosystems, the EU will better monitor, report, prevent and remedy pollution from air, water, soil, and consumer products. To achieve this, the EU and Member States will need to look more systematically at all policies and regulations. To address these interlinked challenges, the European Commission will adopt in 2021 a zero pollution action plan for air, water and soil.
Other environmental pollution countermeasuresResponse Recovery RedesignZero Pollution Action Plan for air, water and soil - initiative foreseen in 2021Reference https://ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2019-2024/sinkevicius/announcements/commissioner-virginijus-sinkevicius-speech-environment-council-19th-december-2019-brussels_enContact European Commission
Other environmental pollution countermeasuresResponse Recovery RedesignEU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability - to reduce the risks associated with producing and using chemicals - initiative foreseen in Q3 2020.Reference https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12264-Chemicals-strategy-for-sustainability-Contact European Commission
Other environmental pollution countermeasuresResponse Recovery RedesignFollow-up of the evaluation of the current EU air quality legislation - to strengthen provisions on monitoring, modelling and air quality plans to help local authorities achieve cleaner air; propose to revise air quality standards to align them more closely with the World Health Organization recommendations - ongoingContact European Commission
Other environmental pollution countermeasuresResponse Recovery RedesignContinued and enhanced Clean Air Policy implementation support - ongoingReference https://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/pdf/clean_air_for_all.pdf
https://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/pdf/reduction_napcp/1_EN_ACT_part1_v7.pdfContact European Commission
Other environmental pollution countermeasuresResponse Recovery RedesignCommunication on the Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (PiE) - outlining a set of actions addressing the multifaceted challenges that the release of pharmaceuticals poses to the environment - adopted by the CommissionReference https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1552310298826&uri=COM:2019:128:FIN
https://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/water-dangersub/pharmaceuticals.htmContact European Commission
Other environmental pollution countermeasuresResponse Recovery RedesignFollow-up of the evaluation of the current EU water legislation: proposals - to strengthen provisions on water pollutants, to boost implementation and to increase water related investments and other measures - ongoingContact European Commission
Other environmental pollution countermeasuresResponse Recovery RedesignFollow-up to the Industrial Emissions Directive evaluation including the development of BAT (best available techniques) conclusions on energy and water usage as well as pollution - ongoingReference https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/1913-Evaluation-of-the-Industrial-Emissions-Directive
https://ec.europa.eu/environment/industry/stationary/ied/legislation.htmContact European Commission
Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumptionResponse Recovery RedesignProposal legislative waste reforms on waste, packaging waste, waste management, landfill, electrical and electronic waste, end-of-life vehicles, batteries and accumulators, and waste batteries and accumulators - proposed by the CommissionContact European Commission
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureThe Farm to Fork Strategy strengthens efforts to tackle climate change, protect the environment, and preserve biodiversity. The common agricultural and common fisheries policies will remain key tools to support these efforts while ensuring a decent living for farmers, fishermen and their families. The European Commission’s proposals for the common agricultural policy stipulate that at least 40% of the common agricultural policy’s overall budget from 2023-2027 and at least 30% of the Maritime Fisheries Fund would contribute to climate action.
The Biodiversity Strategy outlines the EU’s position for the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, with global targets to protect biodiversity, as well as commitments to address the main causes of biodiversity loss in the EU, underpinned by measurable objectives that address the main causes of biodiversity loss. The biodiversity strategy identifies specific measures to meet these objectives. Building on the 2030 biodiversity strategy, the European Commission will prepare a new EU forest strategy covering the whole forest cycle and promoting the many services that forests provide.
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureResponse Recovery Redesign"Farm to Fork" Strategy - for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system - adopted by the CommissionReference https://ec.europa.eu/food/farm2fork_enContact European Commission
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureResponse Recovery RedesignMeasures, including legislative, to significantly reduce the use and risk of chemical pesticides, and the use of fertilizers and antibiotics - from 2020Reference https://ec.europa.eu/food/farm2fork_enContact European Commission
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureResponse Recovery RedesignFinalisation of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, including reinforced support for Member States, to ensure that strategic plans contribute to the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy - proposed by the CommissionReference https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/cap-reforms-compatibility-green-deals-ambition-2020-may-20_en
https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/key-policies/common-agricultural-policy/future-cap_en#proposalContact European Commission
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureResponse Recovery RedesignThe EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 - protecting nature and reversing the degradation of ecosystems - adopted by the CommissionContact European Commission
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureResponse Recovery RedesignNew EU Forest Strategy - covering the whole forest cycle and promoting the many services that forests provide - initiative foreseen in Q1 2021Contact European Commission
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureResponse Recovery RedesignMeasures to support deforestation-free value chains - from 2020Contact European Commission
OthersAs part of the Green Deal, the European Commission has refocused the European Semester process of macroeconomic coordination to integrate the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, to put sustainability and the well-being of citizens at the centre of economic policy, and the sustainable development goals at the heart of the EU’s policymaking and action. The Commission will also present a new environmental action programme to complement the European Green Deal that will include a new monitoring mechanism to ensure that Europe remains on track to meet its environmental objectives.
OthersResponse Recovery RedesignIntegration of the Sustainable Development Goals in the European Semester - putting sustainability and the well-being of citizens at the centre of economic policy, and the sustainable development goals at the heart of the EU’s policymaking and actionContact European Commission
OthersResponse Recovery Redesign8th Environment Action Programme - to guide the EU's environmental policy for the 2021 - 2030 period - initiative foreseen in Q4 2020Reference https://ec.europa.eu/environment/action-programme/ (to read more about the 7th EAP)Contact European Commission
OthersThe EU stands ready to engage with partners around the world on ways to direct investment to environmentally sustainable economic activities. We urge all international partners to also put in place clear and robust low carbon policies and green national recovery strategies. This will give our societies a sense of direction and purpose, and guide investors, businesses, workers and consumers towards sustainability which can be determined by frameworks for sustainable finance and taxonomy principles. Global solidarity, open and fair trade, rules-based order, and multilateralism are crucial to avoid lapsing into fossil fuel and resource intensive recovery, thus putting people and the planet irreversibly in peril. A comprehensive, fair and green dimension will remain present throughout the EU’s development assistance and cooperation frameworks with third countries and other external policies in the context of this recovery.
The list below gives examples of priorities and specific areas where the EU is focussing.
Response Recovery RedesignEU Global Response to COVID-19 - the European Union and its Member States with the involvement of international partner countries, acting together as ‘Team Europe’, taking comprehensive and decisive action to tackle the destructive impact of COVID-19 - ongoingContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignEU to continue to lead the international climate and biodiversity negotiations, further strengthening the international policy framework - ongoingReference https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/international_en
https://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/international/cbd/index_en.htmContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignStrengthen the EU’s Green Deal Diplomacy in cooperation with Member States - as communicated in the European Green Deal - from 2020Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignBilateral efforts to induce partners to act and to ensure comparability of action and policies - as communicated in the European Green Deal - from 2020Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignGreen Agenda for the Western Balkans - as communicated in the European Green Deal - from 2020Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignEnvironment Partnership Programme for Accession (EPPA) in the Western Balkans and Turkey - ongoingReference https://eppanetwork.eu/project/Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignAfrica-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs strengthens Africa-EU cooperation. The Africa-Europe Alliance Transport Taskforce promotes sustainable, safe, and efficient transport connectivity through to sustainable investmentReference https://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/international/news/2020-02-19-africa-europe-alliance_enContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignCommunication on a Comprehensive Strategy with Africa - to intensify cooperation on the green transition, digital transformation, sustainable growth and jobs, peace and governance, and migration and mobility - adopted by the European CommissionReference https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_373
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:52020JC0004&from=FRContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignEU/AU High-Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) - long-standing joint EU/AU initiative for regular exchanges on R&I policy and to implement long-term priorities of Africa-Europe cooperation on STIReference https://africa-eu-partnership.org/en/projects/eu-africa-high-level-policy-dialogue-hlpd-science-technology-and-innovation-sti and
https://au.int/en/newsevents/20191107/au-eu-high-level-policy-dialogue-hlpd-science-technology-and-innovationContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignClimate Change and Sustainable Energy Partnership - one of the EU/AU HLPD Partnerships on STI which implements joint STI actions on climate change mitigation and adaptationContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignFood and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture - one of the EU/AU HLPD Partnerships on STI which implements related joint STI actionsReference https://ec.europa.eu/knowledge4policy/publication/eu-africa-research-innovation-partnership-food-nutrition-security-sustainable_enContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignImproving global environmental governance through voluntary support to the implementation of the programme of work of both UNEP and related multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) - ongoingReference https://ec.europa.eu/environment/international_issues/agreements_en.htm
https://www.unenvironment.org/about-un-environment/funding-and-partnerships/european-commissionContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignUNEA 5th session in February 2021. EU is part of a broad consultation process organised by UNEP on the Good Practice Guidance Framework on Sustainable Infrastructure and the implementation of the UNEA Resolution on Sustainable Infrastructure (March 2019)Reference https://www.greengrowthknowledge.org/news/unep-regional-consultations-sustainable-infrastructure-information-portalContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignEU works closely with the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), promoting sustainable transport through the development of freight and personal mobility by inland transport modes - ongoingReference http://www.unece.org/covid-19.htmlContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignSupport for UN Omnibus Resolution on Comprehensive and coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic (for the UN General Assembly)Contact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignEU supports ICAO work on recovery of European and international aviation in line with the Paris Agreement and the recent ICAO CART recommendations on sustainabilityReference https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2020/EN/COM-2020-219-F1-EN-MAIN-PART-1.PDF
https://www.icao.int/covid/cart/Pages/default.aspxContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignAt EU level, the Commission is working on a proposal for the appropriate implementation of CORSIA through the EU ETS (2021) - ongoingContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignThe International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF), initiated by the European Commission, brings together 14 jurisdictions to scale up the mobilisation of private capital towards environmentally sustainable investments at a global scale - launchedReference https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/banking-and-finance/sustainable-finance/international-platform-sustainable-finance_frContact European Commission
Response Recovery RedesignGlobal Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy - co-chaired by Frans Timmermans, European Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal - ongoingReference https://www.globalcovenantofmayors.org/Contact European Commission
Response Recovery Redesign
Response Recovery RedesignMission Innovation - the EU is a major player in this global initiative, working to accelerate clean energy innovation and one of the platforms for EU global outreach in the context of the European Green Deal - ongoingReference http://mission-innovation.netContact European Commission
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Burkina Faso
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- The Marshall Islands
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- The Philippines
- Republic of Korea
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- The United Kingdom