Europe focuses on the environment

Europe focuses on the environment

February 13, 2020

Europe focuses on the environment

From the Green Deal to the BlueInvest fund, many European investments are aiming to transform the continent into an example of sustainability, putting respect for the environment at the center

The European Union has taken action to achieve a decidedly ambitious goal: to become the first group of countries with a zero impact on the climate within 30 years, i.e. by 2050. “The transformation that awaits us is unprecedented and will only succeed if it is fair and benefits everyone. We will support the people and regions required to make the greatest efforts so that no one is left behind,” said the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen

We are proposing a green and inclusive transition that will help improve people's well-being and hand on a healthy planet to future generations" echoed Frans Timmermans, first vice-chairman of the European Commission.

Green, the color of the new Europe

Becoming the first zero climate impact continent is simultaneously the greatest challenge and opportunity of our time." So says the website dedicated to the European Green Deal, the main tool implemented by Europe to achieve this climate neutrality. Launched in December 2019, the project is Europe’s new strategy for growth that aims to ensure well-being for the people and the planet and has in a certain sense been demanded by its citizens. In fact, 93% of Europeans consider climate change to be a serious problem and an equal percentage have taken at least one action to combat it. The green light has therefore been given for the green revolution that will inevitably involve all sectors of the economy, starting with the energy sector, given that it produces 75% of the European Union's greenhouse gas emissions. There is talk of “decarbonizing” energy and experts have made a series of  recommendations for energy-intensive industries so that they can also contribute to achieving the final objective. It is also about renovating buildings to reduce bills and the use of energy, incentivizing industries that focus on innovation and transforming transport. 

A fair but expensive transition

The President of the European Commission is convinced that it is worth investing in a green Europe. “The Green Deal requires a huge investment, which we will transform into investment opportunities. The plan presented today is intended to mobilize at least 1,000 billion euros and will indicate the road ahead, creating a wave of green investments” she explained in January 2020 at the presentation of the European Green Deal Investment Plan, which provides for the EU to mobilize  huge funds - at least € 1,000 billion over the next 10 years - with an unprecedented level of public spending on the climate and the environment. According to estimates, this funding will stimulate public and private investments, particularly thanks to special incentives provided precisely to unlock investments and the practical support of the Commission during the preparation and implementation of sustainable projects. All this will have to take place according to a “fair” transition that leaves no one behind. In fact, as the experts explain: “While the European Green Deal investment plan aims to meet the funding requirements of all regions, the mechanism will provide targeted support to those most affected in order to mobilize at least 100 billion euros in the 2021-2027 period, thus mitigating the socio-economic impact of the transition.”  

European finance is also tinged with blue

No debate about the environment and climate neutrality can ignore the oceans, fishing and all those businesses and activities connected to some extent to the water, the so-called blue economy. “The blue economy includes many promising initiatives and companies at an early stage, often arising from research and development programs financed by the European Union. These are implementing solutions for renewable energy, sustainable fish products, blue biotechnology, maritime information systems and much more,” explain the experts. 

The blue economy was discussed in Brussels on 4 February 2020 during the BlueInvest Day conference, an opportunity for everyone operating in this sector to meet and discuss. The BlueInvest fund was launched on the same day with an endowment of € 75 million to support this blue side of the economy. "The € 75 million investment fund serves to unlock the potential of the blue economy to contribute to the European Green Deal and provide for the economic growth of European small and medium-sized enterprises developing innovative and sustainable products and services," said Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for the Environment, the Oceans and Fisheries. In addition to the fund launched by the European Commission, working with the European Investment Fund, part of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group, there is a platform of the same name (BlueInvest) designed to stimulate investment and access to funds.

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