The EU has always been on the forefront of green initiatives and action against climate change. They have long-term, concrete goals to reverse (when possible) or stem the impact of global warming on the Earth.
On October 10, 2017 the Council of the European Union reaffirmed its belief in the green initiatives undertaken by their parent organization. In a press release dated that same day, it highlighted the measures and means by which the continental bloc plans to affect the change they wish to see.
Almost as a response of US President Trump rejecting the Paris Agreement, meant as a global initiative to stem climate change, this press release mentions the accord by name multiple times.
In fact, the Council reiterated its goal to fund a $100 billion collective mobilization fund by the year 2020. Other goals undertaken for the 2020 milestone include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels, a 20% increase in renewable energy and a 20% increase in total energy efficiency.
More so, the bloc has also dedicated themselves to even more ambitious goals by 2030. They set forth a minimum goal of 27% improvements in energy efficiency, a minimum of 27% of energy being renewable and a 40% drop in emissions over 1990 totals.
Part of the motivation the EU is giving to private companies as part of their long-term goals is the Emissions Trading Scheme. This policy awards businesses which are reducing CO2 emissions, and aiding development of green infrastructure.
Since 2005 this policy has lowered the annual emissions cap for companies, meaning that every industry is being encouraged to go green. In fact, they lose financial allowances for each ton of Carbon Dioxide they emit into the Earth’s atmosphere, incentivizing the initiative.
The EU is also going beyond just trying to stem the tide, so to speak, when it comes to global warming. They claim that the situation has become so bad that they will also commit to adapting to the ever-worsening climate.
The bloc will modify building regulations to take into account future climate conditions, expand current flood defenses and help to develop drought-tolerant crops for their farmers.
While the global community has gotten better about climate change, the EU claims, the damage must be reversed, and soon, to avoid the worst consequences. To that end, the continental bloc is working on many facets of the climate crisis.
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