How will the Green Deal affect European citizens?
The Green Deal is the EU’s ambitious initiative to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. It was signed off at the end of 2020 and is the EU’s priority for its seven-year budget which begins in 2021.
What’s the big deal?
It aims to transform Europe’s economy into a sustainable one from production to consumption, boosting the efficient use of resources, minimising waste and cutting greenhouse gas net emissions to zero.
A Climate Law, making the deal a legal obligation, is expected in the first half of 2021. Portugal has said this will be a priority for its six-month rotating EU presidency which began on the 1st of January 2021.
Sounds good, but are there any issues?
The move towards a low-carbon society is likely to put more of a burden on regions, countries and industries that rely heavily on fossil fuels.
The EU has said that the transition to a green economy must be “just and inclusive for all” and it is thus providing more than €100 billion to help regions that are most affected by the move to a green economy,
What’s the European Social Fund got to do with it?
The European Social Fund (ESF), now the European Social Fund plus (ESF+), is the EU’s main financial tool for building a more inclusive Europe. It funds projects across the EU, promoting employment and social inclusion.
Over the next seven years, it is investing more than €88 billion. This will help create new green jobs, support education opportunities and train people in new skills, as the economy moves towards a green and digital one.