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EU aims for net-zero emissions Europe by 2050

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EU aims for net-zero emissions Europe by 2050

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(BRUSSELS) - The EU Commission set out a strategic long-term plan Wednesday for a 'climate neutral' economy by 2050, to meet Paris objectives and in response to recent stark warnings from scientists over climate change.

A "Clean Planet for All", its vision for a 'prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy by 2050', shows how Europe can "lead the way to climate neutrality by investing into realistic technological solutions, empowering citizens, and aligning action in key areas such as industrial policy, finance, or research – while ensuring social fairness for a just transition".

"Today, we are stepping up our efforts as we propose a strategy for Europe to become the world's first major economy to go climate neutral by 2050," said Miguel Arias Canete, the Commissioner for Climate Action: " Going climate neutral is necessary, possible and in Europe's interest. It is necessary to meet the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. It is possible with current technologies and those close to deployment. And it is in Europe's interest to stop spending on fossil fuel imports and invest in meaningful improvements to the daily lives of all Europeans."

The Commission says its vision for a climate-neutral future covers nearly all EU policies and is in line with the Paris Agreement objective to keep temperature increase to well below 2°C, and pursue efforts to keep it to 1.5°C. It says that for the EU to lead the world towards climate neutrality means achieving it by 2050.

The EU executive says the purpose of this long-term strategy is not to set targets, but "to create a vision and sense of direction, plan for it, and inspire as well as enable stakeholders, researchers, entrepreneurs and citizens alike to develop new and innovative industries, businesses and associated jobs."

The long-term strategy looks into the portfolio of options available for Member States, business and citizens, and how these can contribute to the modernisation of our economy and improve the quality of life of Europeans. It seeks to ensure that this transition is socially fair and enhances the competitiveness of EU economy and industry on global markets, securing high quality jobs and sustainable growth in Europe, while also helping address other environmental challenges, such as air quality or biodiversity loss.

The Commission says the road to a climate neutral economy would require joint action in seven strategic areas: energy efficiency; deployment of renewables; clean, safe and connected mobility; competitive industry and circular economy; infrastructure and interconnections; bio-economy and natural carbon sinks; carbon capture and storage to address remaining emissions.

The strategy now moves to the European Council and the European Parliament for consideration.

Long term strategy for Clean Planet for All - 
background guide

Factsheet on the Long Term Strategy Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction

Factsheet on the Economic Transition

Factsheet on the Industrial Transition

Factsheet on the Social Transition

Clean Planet for All: long-term strategy on the Europa website, including the text of the Commission's Communication

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