Progress Toward the European Green Deal

Under pressure to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the European Union is pushing policies to clean up its economy.

March 17, 2023 | Source: DW | by Ajit Niranjan

In an effort to slow the planet’s heating, the European Union made a promise in 2019 to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Despite the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine, and the energy crisis associated with it, EU lawmakers are still pushing for policies to cut pollution.

They have written some targets from the European Green Deal into law and are haggling over others. They have added green strings to coronavirus relief packages and ripped up rules blocking clean energy projects.

“COVID didn’t kill the Green Deal,” said Pieter de Pous, a Berlin-based analyst at climate think tank E3G. “In fact, it made it stronger.”

If the European Union manages to clean up its economy, it could serve as a blueprint to polluters from the United States to China — and show countries across Africa and Asia that one of the world’s richest emitters is serious about climate change.