A Global Green Deal, by Ursula von der Leyen and Werner Hoyer
By strengthening its emissions-reduction targets and investing heavily in clean energy, the EU has positioned itself as a global climate leader. It now must continue to lead by example while also doing more to help others achieve their climate ambitions.
Five years ago, nations came together and signed the Paris Agreement, committing to keep global warming below 2°C, aiming at 1.5°C. To reach this target, the world has to accelerate its decarbonisation immediately. The decade 2021-2030 is a “make-or-break” moment for us all to address our planet's climate and environment emergency. If we don’t change course, we could face a catastrophic temperature rise of more than 3°C this century.
This is the setting for an event that saw the European Commission and the European Investment Bank join forces to gather global leaders on climate action to forge a truly global green deal aimed at massively reducing our global carbon footprint, ensuring an equitable distribution of clean technologies, investing in breakthrough technologies and supporting a circular economy.
“Europe needs to translate its climate ambitions into global policy and market leadership. The decade ahead is pivotal. Now is the time to implement transformative change,” President Hoyer said speaking ahead of the live event Investing in Climate Action: The Make-or-Break Decade.
The European Commission and the European Investment Bank have both made climate action their top priority. The European Commission launched the European Green Deal in December 2019 as Europe’s new growth strategy. It is designed 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. In parallel, the European Investment Bank, the world’s largest multilateral lender, has transitioned into the EU climate bank to support the European Green Deal, aligning all its activities with the Paris Agreement and committing to support €1 trillion of investments in climate action and environmental sustainability in the critical decade ahead. In 2019, the bank also took the groundbreaking decision to end its financing for traditional fossil-fuel energy projects.
Joining EC President Ursula von der Leyen and EIB President Werner Hoyer at the event were Christine Lagarde, Frans Timmermans, Valdis Dombrovskis, Kristalina Georgieva, John Kerry, Patricia Espinosa, Amina Mohammed, Michael Bloomberg and more.
Alongside experts from China, Kenya, the US and the EU, they assessed the progress made so far and examined how public and private capital can work together to achieve a just transition to a “net-zero” emissions economy. The discussion grappled with the concept of “climate winners and losers” and asked to what extent policy responses in the making such as the European Green Deal and the EU Climate Law address this and pave the way for a just and inclusive transition to a zero carbon future.
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Investing in Climate Action: The Make-or-Break Decade is a live virtual event, organised by Project Syndicate, the European Investment Bank and the European Commission.