EU hails Green Deal as 'man on the moon moment'

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 11, 2019 - Duration: 01:51s

EU hails Green Deal as 'man on the moon moment'

The European Union's new Green Deal policy package commits the EU to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, along with tens of billions of euros to help member states do it.

David Pollard reports.


EU hails Green Deal as 'man on the moon moment'

Carbon neutral by 2050.

It's the headline commitment from the European Union.

On Wednesday (December 11) it took a major step towards it with an outline of its new so-called Green Deal policy package.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) EU COMMISSION PRESIDENT, URSULA VON DER LEYEN, SAYING: "Today is the start of a journey.

But this is Europe's 'Man on the Moon' moment." The move is timely.

Global concern over climate change has been getting as hot as some recent record temperatures.

Those - say environmentalists - exacerbating drought, wildfires and floods.

It's timed too to coincide with this week's U.N.

Climate summit in Madrid, which has heard pleas from teenage activist Greta Thunberg.

And, warnings of the cost of inaction from U.N.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTONIO GUTERRES, SAYING: "To allow temperatures to rise above 1.5 to two degrees or as we are now heading to more than 3.5 degrees, this is to condemn the planet, to condemn the future generations." Europe - one of world's key emitters - is showing a will to move, he said.

The new Green Deal package comes before EU member states on Thursday (December 12).

It's likely to run into resistance from heavy coal users like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

But all being well, will bind EU member states to key climate targets.

While - it's expected - making a 35 billion euro fund available for quote, "those most exposed to the decarbonization challenge." The European Commission, said von der Leyen, also wants to mobilize 100 billion euros of investment to help the bloc in a politically and economically difficult transition away from fossil fuels.

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