Sustainable & Resilient Economy - how to tackle sustainability in order to achieve a more resilient economy.
As the EU gears up for another five-years policy cycle, it is clear that sustainability and climate action will be a key theme running through all future EU policy proposals and initiatives. The newly created position of Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal will give added impetus to the EU's green agenda.
As part of its flagship European Green Deal policy, the Commission is expected to publish a political communication during its first 100 days in office. Following this, business can expect a raft of new regulatory initiatives as well as a possible major overhaul of the EU's 2030 climate and energy framework.
Add to that, we can expect the European Parliament to make its voice heard and ensure Mr Timmermans and Ms von der Leyen do not veer from the ambitious course they set out during their initial exchanges with MEPs.
As the EU continues and accelerates its transition to a more sustainable economy, the challenge will be to ensure it remains both competitive and resilient. The Sustainable and resilient economy task force will bring together EU policy makers and stakeholders on the issues and challenge that will be needed to overcome to deliver on the Green Deal, including:
• Climate action: upcoming Communication on the European Green Deal, will the new European Climate Law establish a 2050 climate-neutrality target? Will the ETS review look again at 2030 targets and extension to shipping?
• Energy: ensuring proper implementation of the Clean Energy package and a new design for the EU gas market – what role for green and renewable gases?
• Biodiversity: a new Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 as well as new initiatives expected on forests and the bio-economy.
• Circular economy: new Circular Economy 2.0 package will look at textiles, transport, food as well as construction and demolition. Commission will also look at the scope of eco-design measures by including criteria on material efficiency such as durability, reparability, recyclability and recycled content, including a draft regulation or directive in the last quarter of next year “to make the information for consumers simpler and easier to understand … to clarify consumer rights regarding e.g. repair services.”
• Zero-pollution strategy: review of the Ambient Air Quality and Industrial Emissions Directives – debate around alignment with World Health Organisation emission limits, will the Commission finally propose its non-toxic environment strategy? Also how to reduce dependence on pesticides and stimulate the take-up of non-chemical alternatives.
• Green and sustainable finance: how can we green capital markets and ensure they fund the green transition? Discussions expected on competing the green finance strategy including revision of corporate reporting rules for both financial and non-financial reporting.
• Clean and connected mobility: review of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive – can the EU solve the ‘chicken and egg’ hurdle to ensuring the mass deployment of electric cars? Initiatives also expected on enhancing urban mobility and smart cities.
• Industrial strategy: how can industry contribute to the European Green Deal and remain competitive? Is a carbon border tax part of the solution?
• Digital: the digital shift is expected to become part of the EU’s environmental agenda – how can we manage the tech sector’s environmental footprint, including through standards for efficient data centres and right to repair for digital products?