For the first time in history, a woman will be President of the European Commission. The German Christian Democrat Ursula Von der Leyen was given the go-ahead by the European Parliament on Tuesday to head the new executive in Brussels until 2024.
Von der Leyen has several priorities in his government plan for the next five years, one of which is the fight against climate change. “I want Europe to do more to be the first climate-neutral continent” are the first words of the European Green Deal that the new Commission President wants to carry out in her term of office.
“I propose a European Green Deal in my first 100 days in office. This will include the first European climate law to enshrine the climate neutral target for 2050″, says the new president’s programme.
“I have been inspired by the passion, conviction and energy of the millions of our young people who have raised their voices and heard in our streets and in our hearts. It is our generational duty to them,” he says.
Von der Leyen wants a Europe that leads the fight against climate change around the world. To do this, he wants the EU to be more ambitious in its battle to reduce emissions. Currently, the target is 40% by 2030, but he believes it is necessary to be more ambitious in order to become climate neutral by 2050.
“I want to reduce emissions by at least 50% by 2030. However, to make a real impact, the world has to move together. The EU will lead negotiations internationally to raise the level of ambition of other major emitters by 2021. By that date, I pledge to resubmit a comprehensive plan to increase the European Union’s 2030 target to 55% responsibly,” the plan says.
To achieve this, the new Commission President proposes to “extend the emissions trading system (ETS) to the maritime sector, and over time, reduce the free allowances allocated to airlines. It will also propose extending the scheme to cover emissions from traffic and the construction sector as well.
Another proposal put on the table by Von der Leyen will be the creation of a Border Carbon Tax to prevent carbon leakage. This tax should fully comply with the rules of the World Trade Organization. “It will start with a number of selected sectors and will gradually expand,” says the new president, who is also committed to reviewing the Energy Tax Directive.
Green Investment Plan
This ambitious emission reduction plan will be accompanied by a new sustainable investment plan. “We will invest record amounts in cutting-edge Research and Innovation, using the full flexibility of the next EU budget to focus on the areas with the greatest potential,” he says.
But European budgets are not enough. Von der Leyen wants the private sector to lead these investments. The new one will require investments of up to one trillion euros in the next decade.
In addition, the new president wants to present a European Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 as well as a new Circular Economy plan in the region.
Without forgetting, of course, the most disadvantaged in this transition that must be fair for all.
One of the first to publicly congratulate the new president was the Minister for Ecological Transition. Through her Twitter account, Ribera is happy to have many coincidences with the new president of the European Commission.