Sustainable growth: What is the role of the European Green Pact?
Sustainable growth refers to the development of a country in a broad sense. Not only does it consider the economic growth linked to increased production, but it encompasses environmental factors which promote the responsible use of natural resources. It is a growth that fosters less consumerist, more sustainable, and more ecological lifestyles.
In this context, actions have been proposed to harmonize economic growth and human well-being. The European Green Deal is one of them. This initiative is presented as a solution to help communities implement measures to combat climate change. It is a roadmap to make the European Union (EU) economy sustainable, modern, efficient, and competitive (European Commission, 2021).
Below you can find the principles governing the European Green Deal and how it contributes to the sustainable growth of Europe and the world.
European Green Deal, one of the most essential actions for sustainable growth
The European Green Deal is the new strategy for sustainable growth to aimed at transforming the EU into a fair and prosperous society. It proposes an efficient economy, in which, by 2050, there will be no issues with net greenhouse gases (GHG), and there will be economic growth with minimal environmental impact. It incorporates a roadmap with principles to drive the efficient use of resources.
The initiative proposes a shift towards a clean, circular economy that minimizes the effects of climate change. The idea is to recover the loss of biodiversity and reduce pollution. It aims to protect and maintain natural capital, and the health and well-being of citizens against environmental risks and impacts. At the same time, it proposes to carry out a fair and inclusive transition (FIAB, 2021).
Principles of sustainable growth governing the European Green Deal
The main foundation of the European Green Deal is to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The deal is based on seven principles, with implementation strategies contributing to sustainable growth. These principles are described below:
1. Achieving a sustainable industry with an emphasis on circular economy
The strategy to achieve sustainable growth is to transform society to adopt a new economic model. The alternative to the present model is circular economy, which is based on implementing a sustainable product policy and the efficient use of resources. It aims to reduce carbon emissions, create sustainable jobs, promote energy efficiency, and improve human health and well-being.
2. Strengthening the use of clean energy
One of the Green Deal strategies is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030. This reduction requires more renewable energy sources (40% by 2030) and greater energy efficiency (36-39% by 2030). The idea is to minimize energy consumption and promote the adoption of renewable fuels such as hydrogen.
To achieve sustainable growth, it is necessary to strengthen clean energy and to take into consideration the advantages of renewable energy. Thus, , it is essential to develop a sustainable industry and to have more companies be part of the deal. Iberdrola is one of these companies. It is a global energy leader and the first wind power producer to fight against climate change. It is a company that has opted to strengthen sustainable innovations such as offshore wind farms or electric mobility.
3. Rebuilding and renovating buildings for greener lifestyles
This principle is based on renovating houses and buildings to save energy. This helps to reduce costs and gain protection from extreme heat or cold in buildings. It addresses energy poverty and ensures that the energy transition is fair and leaves no one behind.
4. Achieving sustainable and ecological mobility
One of the strategies contributing to sustainable growth is the transition to greener mobility, a clean, accessible, and affordable transportation model that could be used even in the most remote areas. The proposal is to reduce CO2 emissions of cars by 55% and of vans by 50% by 2030. A zero-carbon footprint is expected by 2035.
5. Restoring biodiversity to protect the planet and the health
Working to restore nature is an essential principle in combating climate change. This favors sustainable growth, and allows for biodiversity to thrive again. In addition, it offers a quick and economical solution to absorb and store carbon, thus contributing to the decarbonization of the economy.
6. Transforming the food chain to improve the lives of people and the planet
Transforming food is key to the health of society and the planet. The European Green Deal proposes achieving sustainable growth with “from the field to the table” strategy. This strategy suggests the consumption of organic and less processed foods. In addition, the use of fertilizers is reduced, the living conditions of animals are improved, and local markets are enhanced.
7. Achieving zero pollution for a healthy environment
The Green Deal roadmap limits the environmental impact of production practices on the natural environment. The measure involves acting on air quality and proposes to reduce carbon emission. In addition, it suggests reducing the use of hazardous chemicals and replacing them with more sustainable and safe alternatives. These strategies bet on achieving zero pollution to achieve a healthy ecosystem.
The European Green Deal initiative proposes strategies for sustainable growth that benefit people and the environment. The aim is to reduce emissions and achieve a zero-carbon footprint. It is necessary to promote a model of sustainable industry, the use of clean energy, and to protect biodiversity, among other aspects. The idea is for everyone to be part of the deal and contribute to preserving the planet.
ReferencesComisión Europea. (2021, 14 de julio). Cumplimiento del Pacto Verde Europeo.
Diario Responsable. (2021, 15 de febrero). Crecimiento económico sostenible: nuevas narrativas para el cambio.
Federación Española de Industrias de Alimentación y Bebidas (FIAB). (2021, 25 de marzo). Transformación sostenible de la industria de alimentación y bebidas. El Pacto Verde Europeo.