‘The Green Deal comes with important investment needs, which will turn into investment opportunities – the plan that we present today, to mobilise at least €1 trillion, will show the direction and unleash a green investment wave,’ the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said yesterday (14 January) at the rollout of the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan.
As previously reported, the EC presented the European Green Deal on 11 December last year, with the ambition of becoming the first climate-neutral bloc in the world by 2050.
The Green Deal highlighted that transport accounts for 25% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, and to achieve climate neutrality, a 90% reduction in transport emissions is needed by 2050.
The EC has said that, as a matter of priority, a substantial part of the 75% of inland freight currently carried by road should shift onto rail and inland waterways. As such, the Commission said that it will propose increasing the capacity of railways and inland waterways by 2021.
The EU should also ramp up the production and deployment of sustainable alternative transport fuels, said the EC. In addition to its proposal to extend emissions trading to the maritime sector, the Commission said it will ‘take action in relation to maritime transport, including to regulate access of the most polluting ships to EU ports and to oblige docked ships to use shore-side electricity.’
The European Green Deal Investment Plan announced yesterday is intended to mobilise EU funding and ‘create an enabling framework to facilitate and stimulate the public and private investment needs for the transition to a climate neutral, green and inclusive economy,’ said the Commission.
In addition to mobilising at least €1 trillion of sustainable developments across the next decade, the Commission says it will also be taking an ‘enabling’ role, by providing incentives ‘to unlock and redirect public and private investment’. The EC will also seek to support public authorities and project promoters in planning, designing and executing sustainable projects.
At yesterday’s investment plan launch, the EC also introduced the concept of a Just Transition Mechanism (JTM), which it described as ‘a key tool to ensure that the transition towards a climate-neutral economy happens in a fair way, leaving no one behind.’
The JTM will provide targeted support to help mobilise at least €100 billion across the period 2021-2027 in the most affected regions in Europe, ‘to alleviate the socio-economic impact of the transition.
The JTM will consist of three main sources of financing: A Just Transition Fund, which will receive €7.5 billion of new EU funding; a dedicated just transition scheme, under InvestEU, which will seek to attract private investment, including in sustainable energy and transport; and a public sector loan facility with the European Investment Bank, backed by the EU budget, to mobilise between €25 and €30 billion of investment.