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European Green Deal
15 April 2021 12:42

European Green Deal

The European Green Deal is a roadmap of actions that will transform the EU into an efficient, sustainable and competitive economy. Identifying means of transforming Europe into the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050, it will stimulate economic development, improve health and quality of life, and transform climate and environmental challenges for opportunities in all areas and policies of the EU, ensuring a fair and inclusive nature of green transition.

President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen officially presented Green Deal to the European Parliament on 11 December 2019.

The key areas of the Green Deal are biodiversity, sustainable agricultural policy (From Farm to Fork Strategy), clean energy, sustainable industry, construction and renovation, sustainable mobility, pollution reduction, climate action.

Clean energy

On 14 January 2020, European Commission presented a draft Regulation of the EP and the Council of the EU on the establishment of the Just Transition Fund. Under the draft, Commission intends to raise an estimated € 7.5 billion to reduce the effects of the transition to a low-carbon economy, which should complement existing resources under cohesion policy. The Fund is a key element of the Just Transition Mechanism, which aims to provide funding for the EU's goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. The fund will provide support to areas facing serious socio-economic challenges due to decarbonisation.

On 8 July 2020, European Commission adopted the so-called EU hydrogen strategy. The strategy is positioned as a roadmap for creation of a hydrogen ecosystem in the EU by 2050 and reduction of carbon emissions over the next 30 years by increasing the use of electricity and hydrogen and reducing waste energy.

According to the Strategy, EU cooperation in the field of renewable electricity and hydrogen with countries of the Southern and Eastern Neighborhood and the Energy Community, especially Ukraine, will be encouraged. Participation of Ukraine in the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance will also be encouraged.

On 8 July 2020, European Commission officially presented European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, which aims to ambitiously implement hydrogen technologies by 2030. With the help of the Alliance, the EU intends to develop global leadership in the hydrogen sector to achieve the EU's goals of climate neutrality by 2050.

Any European organization whose activities relate to clean and low-carbon hydrogen can join the Alliance by signing Declaration, which is available on the EC website.

A key anticipated outcome of the Alliance's work will be identifying and forming a pool of investment projects along the hydrogen value chain to make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Following Ukrainian stakeholders have already joined the Alliance: DTEK, Green Energy Tokmak LLC, Ukrainian Hydrogen Council.

Climate action

On 4 March 2020, European Commission presented a draft Regulation on achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 (European Climate Law). This project should lay legal ground for the European Green Deal and reflect strong climate ambitions of the European Union. In particular, the EC proposes to legally establish a mandatory goal of achieving zero levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The draft law empowers the Commission to implement tougher emission reductions every five years after 2030.

On 4-31 March 2020, European Commission held consultations on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and revision of the Energy Taxation Directive. According to the EC, the introduction of CBAM at the EU level will increase the cost of imports of carbon intensive products, which may lead to changes in relatively sustainable products in the EU and third countries. The relevant legislative proposal is expected to be drafted by mid-2021. This measure should be developed in accordance with WTO rules and other international obligations of the EU and may be an alternative to those currently taken under the European Emissions Trading System. Following open consultations, Commission will summarize the proposals and comments, which will be set out in a separate report. The received feedback will be published on the Commission website. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine took part in the consultations.

On 17 September 2020, European Commission presented Climate Target Plan 2030, which proposes to increase pan-European target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

The plan aims to establish more ambitious ways to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, stimulate green employment, balance emissions reductions and economic growth, encourage international partners to increase ambitions to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 ° C and prevent most negative effects of climate change.

On 14 October 2020, European Commission presented the EU Methane Strategy. One of the priorities of the Strategy is to improve measurement and reporting of methane emissions. The level of monitoring currently varies between sectors and Member States, as well as in international dimension. In addition to measures at the EU level to strengthen measurement, verification and reporting standards, the Commission will support establishment of an independent international methane emission observatory in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program, Climate and Air Coalition and International Energy Agency. The EU's Copernicus satellite program will improve surveillance and help identify global over-emitters and large-scale methane leakeage. Commission will support the establishment of an independent international methane emissions observatory, tasked to collect, coordinate, verify and publish data on anthropogenic methane emissions at the global level. Based on these data, the observatory will develop a methane supply index to increase the transparency of global methane emissions.

Sustainable industry

On 11 March 2020, European Commission presented Circular Economy Action Plan as part of the EU's industrial strategy, which provides following key measures:

- transformation of sustainable products into the norm in the EU. The Commission will propose legislation on a sustainable product policy to ensure that products placed on EU market are made for a long-term, facilitated by reuse, repair and disposal, while ensuring the use of secondary materials instead of primary raw materials in the production process. Single use will be limited, premature obsolescence and destruction of unsold durable goods will be prohibited;

- providing consumers with broader access to reliable information on issues such as maintainability and durability of products;

- focus on sectors that have great potential for circularity and use the most resources;

- waste reduction.

On 14 October 2020, European Commission adopted the EU Chemicals Strategy, which is the first step towards achieving a non-toxic environment under the European Green Deal. The strategy will promote innovation in safe and sustainable chemicals, as well as increase protection of human health and environment from hazardous chemicals. This will include banning the use of the most harmful chemicals in consumer goods, such as toys, childcare items, cosmetics, detergents, food contact materials and textiles, and ensuring safe and sustainable use of chemicals.

Biodiversity

On 20 May 2020, European Commission presented a draft EU Biodiversity Strategy, which aims to address key factors in biodiversity loss such as irrational land and sea use, overexploitation of natural resources, environmental pollution and use of invasive alien flora and fauna. The document also aims to make biodiversity conservation an integral part of the EU’s overall economic growth strategy.

Sustainable agricultural policy

On 20 May 2020, European Commission presented the draft From Farm to Fork EU Strategy. The strategy sets out a transition to a sustainable EU food system that will ensure food security and ensure access to healthy food while securing environment. Such an approach should reduce the impact of the EU food system on the environment and climate change and increase its stability, protecting health of citizens and ensuring interests of economic operators.

Sustainable investment

On 18 June 2020 the European Parliament adopted the Regulation on Sustainable Investments (so-called Taxonomy Regulation), which sets out main ecological objectives and allows to label economic activities as environmentally sustainable if they contribute to one of the objectives without harming any other. This will help create the world's first «green catalog» - a classification system of sustainable economic activity, which will be used by investors when investing in projects and economic activities that have a significant positive impact on climate and environment.

Ukraine and European Green Deal 

On 24 January 2020, Government of Ukraine established an inter-institutional group to coordinate the effects of climate change within the framework of the European Green Deal. Prime Minister of Ukraine chairs the work of this group.

In August 2020, Ukraine passed to the European Commission a position paper on Ukraine’s vision of implementing European Green Deal.

In the document, Government of Ukraine proposed to establish a structured and regular dialogue with the EU on modalities of early involvement of Ukraine into development and implementation of policies under the European Green Deal and develop a joint Roadmap for Ukraine's participation in it. In his reply, Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans suggested to hold a kick-off meeting to discuss relevant aspects of the EGD in the framework of ongoing dialogues under the Association Agreement and to identify ways how the EU could support Ukraine in the green transition.

On 10 February 2021 in Brussels Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal met with the Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans and discussed issues of bilateral interest under European Green Deal.

On 24 March 2021, during a meeting of the Government of Ukraine a resolution "On the establishment of a working group to agree upon approach to the application of the carbon adjustment mechanism for consultations with the European Commission" was approved. The document forms the composition and approves the provisions of the relevant working group.

Useful links

European Green Deal

https://cutt.ly/DgIW6FA

https://cutt.ly/RgIEwxs

https://cutt.ly/LgIErVF

The European Green Deal Investment Plan and Just Transition Mechanism

https://cutt.ly/3gIEoql

Commission Communication on the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan

https://cutt.ly/MgIEjJE

Proposal for a European climate law

https://cutt.ly/agIElpy

European industrial strategy

https://cutt.ly/fgIEzth

Circular Economy Action Plan

https://cutt.ly/CgIExj3

European Clean Hydrogen Alliance

https://www.ech2a.eu/

Ukraine’s 2050 Green Energy Transition Concept

https://cutt.ly/0gIEcAo


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