TEPSA Brief: “Next Steps for the European Green Deal: Navigating economic and security challenges, keeping a focus on climate and justice”, Marco Siddi

The European Union (EU) is trying to strengthen its resilience to external shocks while keeping an open economy. The tension between these objectives is evident in the Green Deal Industrial Plan and its two main components, the Net-Zero Industry Act and the Critical Raw Materials Act. A viable EU strategy could focus on de-risking rather than de-coupling from key trade partners and third countries.

The EU has promoted a European Green Deal (EGD) since late 2019, with the overarching goals of accelerating the energy transition throughout the economy and society, and achieving climate neutrality by 2050. This requires increasing renewable energy generation, energy efficiency and energy saving, and meeting interim targets by 2030 – such as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 55% compared to the year 1990.

The EGD has an important external policy dimension. Most notably, it requires reducing fossil fuel imports, protecting the European industry from competitors based in countries with laxer environmental regulation and incentivising third partners to advance their own energy transition.