The European Commission has created five new policy goals – four of them centred around climate change, with the push to become largely “climate resilient” by 2030
The IPCC Report, combining the knowledge of 700 scientists in 4,000 pages, outlined a clear trajectory for the Earth – a bad one, fuelled by human overuse of the environment. The concept of climate change is slightly more prominently accepted now, moving from the sidelines as a liberal policy goal to become an objectively accepted reality of policy-making.
The connection between air pollution and COVID deaths served to further highlight how climate change is interlinked with the survival of humanity.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, said:
“The risks posed by climate change could dwarf those of any single disease. The COVID-19 pandemic will end, but there is no vaccine for the climate crisis.”
The COVID-19 pandemic will end, but there is no vaccine for the climate crisis.”
The EU launched “Fit for 55”, their comprehensive climate change package of ideas, earlier this year. The title is drawn from the central premise – that greenhouse gases would be cut 55% by 2030. While the title was generally criticised, the idea was right.
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said: “The missions are commitments to solve some of the greatest challenges we are facing today: fighting cancer, adapting to climate change, protecting the ocean, seas and waters, living in greener cities and ensuring healthy soil and food.”
Now, the Commission has created five new missions that intend to use Horizon 2020 missions to implement climate and research goals:
- Adaptation to Climate Change: support at least 150 European regions and communities to become climate resilient by 2030;
- Cancer: working with Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan to improve the lives of more than 3 million people by 2030 through prevention, cure and solutions to live longer and better;
- Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030;
- 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030;
- A Soil Deal for Europe: 100 living labs and lighthouses to lead the transition towards healthy soils by 2030.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The response to the coronavirus pandemic has shown that we can only tackle our biggest problems with a collective effort rooted in research and innovation. This is also the starting point of the bold and ambitious EU missions. They will mobilise the enormous potential of the EU and rally instruments and policies to achieve important goals.”