On 11 December, the European Commission presented the long-awaited Green Deal. CEEP welcomes the Commissions new proposal- As climate change is happening, Europe has a responsibility to act now. The new European Green Deal, a cross-sectoral European pact aiming for higher emission reduction targets, new climate policy laws, new financing and social transition mechanisms, has the potential to change climate policymaking in Europe and re-direct it to where it will be most needed.
In this context, CEEP particularly highlights the necessity to recognize the vital role of Public Services and Services of General Interest (SGIs) as key actors in this climate transition, addressing the challenges of digitalisation, the social and the economic aspects. The success of the Green Deal is Europe’s last chance to fight Climate Change, and its success will depend on the integration of a well-balanced approach towards a sustainable development.
In the framework of the EU Green Deal, CEEP specifically calls for strong and fair climate policymaking. Considering the new Climate Law and pursuing the ambition to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, it is important to face the wide-ranging challenges of climate change across different sectors and countries, affecting each differently. Indeed, “one size does not fit all”: it will be crucial to ensure legislations from different sectors do not conflict with already existing policies and are in harmony to efficiently achieve our climate goals.
Another important aspect involves the successful integration of mitigation and adaptation policies in the EU Green Deal. It is vital to consider the adaptation of our economies and the resilience of our infrastructures. Action must simultaneously handle other environmental challenges such as water availability or biodiversity. In this light, CEEP already welcomed the reviews and adjustments of past emission target strategies and the Commission’s new mitigation policies such as the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and the Strategy for Smart Sector Integration.
Public Services and SGIs also play a key role in safeguarding social infrastructures in Europe: in this highly intensive climate transition, CEEP welcomes in the EU Green Deal the attention given to citizens and communities. Public Services and SGIs are in direct contact with their users and understand the importance of leaving no one behind in this transition. The climate challenge must be met in a new context of awareness and demand for citizen’s involvement.
The implementation of the EU Green Deal will require a sustainable financing plan with a long-term vision. Boosting financing to climate-friendly solutions and transforming the European Investment Bank into the first Climate Bank is a vital step to accelerate the climate transition. Public Services and SGIs promote economic growth and employment in Europe by providing essential services (communications, water, energy, waste treatment, transport, etc.) and their contribution is crucial to support the competitiveness of our industries.