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Navigating the European Green Deal

The European Green Deal scheme was adopted in December 2019 and is a comprehensive plan that aims to transform the EU into a sustainable and circular economy. The legislative proposals under the Green Deal will require significant investments and changes in consumption and production practices. However, the benefits of achieving a carbon-neutral and sustainable economy are significant and will contribute to a better future.

Understanding this legislation is vital for businesses operating within the EU as they directly affect business operations.

Key legislation of the European Green Deal

The European Green Deal comprises several legislative proposals that are aimed at transforming the EU into a sustainable and circular economy and to be the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Some of the key legislative proposals are detailed below.

European Climate Law Regulation (EU) 2021/1119

Regulation (EU) 2021/1119 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 June 2021 establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulations (EC) No 401/2009 and (EU) 2018/1999, the European Climate Law, was published in the Official Journal on 9 July 2021 and entered into force on 29 July 2021.

This law proposes a legally binding target for the EU to become carbon-neutral by 2050 and sets an interim target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. It includes five-yearly reviews which reflect the cycle established by The Paris Agreement.

Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) 2018/2001/EU

The Renewable Energy Directive 2018/2001/EU is the legal framework for the development of renewable energy across all sectors of the EU economy, supporting clean energy cooperation across EU countries.

The Renewable Energy Directive entered into force in December 2018 and has been legally binding since June 2021. A provisional agreement in 2023 aims to increase the share of renewable energy in the EU’s energy mix to at least 42.5% by 2030.

Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) 2018/2002/EU

Energy efficiency is a key area of action, without which the full decarbonisation of the Union economy cannot be achieved.

The original Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU was adopted in 2012 and is an essential element to progress towards climate neutrality by 2050, under which energy efficiency is to be treated as an energy source in its own right.

The EU EED was recast as 2018/2002/EU and came into force in December 2018 promoting ‘energy efficiency first’ as an overall principle of EU energy policy and marks its importance and relevance in both its practical applications in policy and investment decisions.

The Energy Efficiency Directive 2018/2002/EU aims to improve energy efficiency across the EU, with a target of reducing energy consumption by 32% by 2030 compared to 2007 levels.

Circular Economy Action Plan

The Circular Economy Action Plan was adopted in March 2020 and aims to promote a circular economy in the EU by reducing waste and promoting the sustainable use of resources. The plan includes measures to reduce waste, promote reuse and recycling, and promote sustainable production and consumption.

The European Digital Product Passport forms part of this plan; described in more detail in this newsletter.

Farm to Fork Strategy

The Farm to Fork Strategy was adopted in May 2020 and aims to promote sustainable food production and consumption in the EU. The strategy includes measures to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers, promote organic farming, reduce food waste and combat fraud along the food supply chain.

Implications of the European Green Deal scheme

The legislative proposals under the European Green Deal will have significant implications for the EU member states, businesses, and individuals.

It is not just about regulatory compliance, it’s also about staying competitive in an evolving market landscape. While the transformation towards a carbon-neutral and circular economy will require significant investment and change in business practices, it provides businesses with an opportunity to innovate, improve efficiency, and build a sustainable brand image.

Key time points

  • 2021-2030 Implementation of the various strategies and initiatives under the European Green Deal, including the revision and strengthening of existing regulations, promotion of clean technologies, and investment in green infrastructure.
  • 2030 Target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% compared to 1990 levels.
  • 2050 Target to achieve climate neutrality across the European Union.

Eurofins can help you create more sustainable business practices

We offer a range of services which contribute to becoming compliant with the regulations which fall under the European Green Deal. Contact us now to find out how we can help.

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