The European Green Deal is the path of sustainability that the European Union will pursue in the next decades. It will transform the European continent into a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy, thereby striving to be the first climate-neutral continent. Even if some of the EU provisions are not directly binding for Norway, businesses in Norway are nevertheless strongly impacted and the overall importance of sustainability cannot be neglected.
The specific goals of the European Green Deal include
- No net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050
- economic growth decoupled from resource use
- no person and no place left behind
The European Green Deal not only focuses on specific areas or industries; rather, its approach is all-encompassing and includes actions regarding climate, energy, agriculture, industry, environment and oceans, transport, financing and research and innovation.
At the same time, the European Union sees the necessity to transform society and the current economic model into a more sustainable one, reducing inequality, creating job opportunities, addressing Europe’s position in the world and its independence of other regions such as China and the United States, as well as improving health and overall wellbeing.
The timeline of the European Green Deal
In December 2019, the European Green Deal was presented by the European Commission with the explicit aim at climate neutrality by 2050. A concrete European Climate Law was then proposed in March 2020, adapted in September 2020 with the new target to reduce net emissions by at least 55 % by 2030. It did not last longer than until April 2021, when the European Parliament and the Member States reached a political agreement on the targets of the European Green Deal. The European Climate Law entered into force in June 2021. It enshrines the targets of the European Green Deal together with monitoring mechanisms and provisions on predictability.
Read more: The European Climate Law
A clear strategy when it comes to investment in green businesses is facilitated by the EU Taxonomy. The framework includes the conditions under which a business may count as “sustainable”. Several technical criteria must be fulfilled, which are specified in partially released regulations and partially in forthcoming ones. Thus, sustainable business models are key to investment opportunities in the future!
Read more: EU taxonomy: Sustainability becomes a prerequisite for finance
The six environmental objectives
According to the EU Taxonomy regulation there are six objectives to be adhered by a sustainable business:
- climate change mitigation
- climate change adaptation
- the sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources
- the transition to a circular economy
- pollution prevention and control
- the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems
Read more: EU Taxonomy screening criteria – New approvals by the European Commission 21 April 2021
Delivering the European Green Deal
Currently, there are several proposals under discussion which aim at laying out further concrete steps to transform our economy. The interconnected proposals currently under discussion are brought together in the Fit for 55 Package, which all drive towards the same goal of ensuring a fair, competitive and green transition by 2030 and beyond:
- The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS)
- The EU Forest Strategy and targets for removing carbon from the atmosphere
- Energy production from renewable sources (Renewable Energy Directive)
- CO2 emissions standards for cars and vans
- Green energy supply to aircrafts and ships
We at Magnus Legal will keep you up to date with the upcoming regulations.