In 2019, the European Union (EU) launched the European Green Deal Communication in response to the climate and environmental challenges Europe and its citizens are experiencing.
This unprecedented policy effort by the EU is informed by the conclusions and recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (for more information about this panel, see Topic 3.3.4 Global Networks) about the changes we are facing: the atmosphere is warming and more than 8 million species on the planet are at risk (IPCC 2019).
To see how climate change is affecting European countries, one can notice how the annual average temperatures for 45 European countries have changed from 1850 to 2018 using data from the UK Met Office (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. The European Warming Stripes: Annual average temperatures for 45 European countries from 1850-2018 using data from UK Met Office. Source: Ed Hawkins, Berkeley Earth, NOAA, UK Met Office, MeteoSwiss, DWD
In an extraordinary effort to lead the world on climate action, the EU set a target of net-zero carbon by 2050 and halving emissions by 2030. With this transversal policy, the EU aimed to address the root problems that contribute to carbon emissions and pollution. The contribution of research and innovation to this central priority is fundamental. Research and innovation are one of the main drivers to provide concrete solutions (Figure 2).
Figure 2. The European Green Deal. Source: (European Commission 2019)
The European Green Deal is a major European mission for transforming the EU’s economy for a sustainable future and involves many policy implementations across many fields: energy, industry, agriculture, mobility, environment, financing, etc. (Figure 2). By accomplishing these, the EU is expected to become the first climate-neutral continent and a global leader.
|Read more about the European Green Deal:|
– Adler, David, Pawel Wargan, and Sona Prakash, Sona. Blueprint for Europe’s Just Transition – Edition II, (Link)
– European Commission (2019). The European Green Deal. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. COM(2019) 640 final. Brussels, 11/12/2019, (Link)
– Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2018): Global Warming of 1.5ºC. Summary for Policymakers. Switzerland: IPCC, (Link)
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