The European Commission took a significant step towards the decarbonisation of the European economy in December 2019 with its proposal of a "European Green Deal". President Ursula von der Leyen vowed to "leave no one behind" in this "man on the moon moment" that promises to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

The Green Deal lays out a roadmap involving all sectors of the economy in a drive to meet ten key goals, including:

  • a climate-neutral Europe;
  • a circular economy with sustainable product policies;
  • transport initiatives for electric vehicles and sustainable alternative fuels;
  • at least doubling building renovation rates; and
  • new innovative value chains through the development of competitive clean technologies.

The Commission has also proposed a Just Transition Mechanism comprising a €100 billion fund to support the regions most dependent on fossil fuels with their transition to climate neutrality.

If EU leaders choose to adopt the Commission's plan, the European economy will be radically transformed, with major implications for the rest of the world. The Commission has stated the EU is committed to leading by example "as a global leader" and sets the deal in the context of the Paris Agreement and a worldwide movement for change.

If the Green Deal is adopted, all parts of the European economy will be essential to its success. The Commission has highlighted the importance of private sector involvement in the plan, to adopt sustainable initiatives and direct financial flows towards green investment.