​Can Europe be the first carbon neutral continent?

Posted on 23 January 2023

The EU Commission is dedicated to its net zero agenda. More regularly than before, we hear in the news about initiatives, investments and government backing to help make Europe net zero. The green Deal looked to become climate neutral by 2050, reducing its carbon emissions by 55% by 2030.

While the Green Deal is not legislation, since the proposals began in 2019, it has been a source of drive for the Commission, which has said the plan would need €1 trillion of investments. While targets and the program are still flexible to convince EU member states that the investment is worth it, momentum continues to grow. We look at some of the initiatives within the Deal, which would lead to Europe being the first climate-neutral continent.


 Part of the Green Deal has identified around 75% of buildings as energy inefficient. The green Deal suggests a renovation wave so that it will double the annual energy renovations over the next ten years. This is designed to ensure that worst-performing buildings are more energy efficient.

However, the renovation wave will do more than help with the emissions goal. This will help over 34 million Europeans living in energy poverty. It will help with the health and well-being of Europeans and create new green jobs within the construction sector.

Farm to Fork

The EU is looking to put food production on a sustainable path. Currently, the food systems account for one-third of global GHG emissions. By creating a sustainable chain, there will be new opportunities throughout.

The goal of farm-to-fork is to have a neutral or positive environmental impact, help to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects, ensure food security, nutrition and public health, making sure that everyone has access to sufficient, safe, nutritious, sustainable food

And preserve the affordability of food while generating fairer economic returns.

Farm to Fork strategy will require new technologies and innovation within agricultural industries so that the goals set out in the Green Deal can be possible.

Blue economy

Europe's marine economy is significant. Over 4 million people work in marine industries, and the EU green deal has not ignored the environmental impact of the "blue economy". Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal, said, "Healthy oceans are a precondition for a thriving blue economy. Pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction, coupled with the effects of the climate crisis, all threaten the rich marine biodiversity that the blue economy depends on"

As well as decarbonising marine transport, there is the need to reduce oceanic pollution, improve recycling, create incentives for anglers to help with litter collection, and reverse biodiversity loss. Transitioning to a sustainable blue economy will require investment in innovative technologies. Wave- and tidal energy, algae production, development of innovative fishing gear or restoration of marine ecosystems. This can contribute to creating new green jobs and industries throughout the EU.

At the heart of the Green Deal is innovation. The need for new technologies and industries is paramount to achieving everything set out in the Deal. Clean Tech will demonstrate new ways to achieve the goals and create new green economies within the EU.

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