New EU Commission to publish the Green Deal for Europe during the first 100 days
The new von der Leyen European Commission begins work on 1 November. It has already issued sustainability documents that show what could be the most relevant files for the risk and insurance professions to follow during the five years of its term. These are where the risk manager is likely to add value and demonstrate relevance for the organisation.
The proposals contained in the documents have the potential to create a significant shift for the European economy. The most iconic initiative is certainly the Green Deal for Europe. The new Commission plans to publish it during the first 100 days. The Dutch social democrat Frans Timmermans has been assigned the task of coordinating this European Green Deal and the EU climate action policy.
Making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050
This package will contain several legislative proposals, including:
- A carbon border tax for goods entering the EU to maintain the competitiveness of EU businesses against countries with less restrictive environmental laws;
- The creation of a European Climate Bank through a reform of the European Investment Bank. The European Climate Bank will put up to 50% of its funds in climate change related investments. This is part of a commitment to invest €1 trillion over the next decade through a Sustainable Europe investment Plan;
- A wide-ranging approach to a zero-pollution goal, including air, water, and noise pollution from transport, agriculture and food production, water quality and hazardous chemicals.
Four Member States are expected to be reluctant to commit to legally binding climate neutrality. This is mostly due to their coal dependency. They are from Eastern Europe, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Poland. A trade-off will likely take place over the EU budget negotiations with a fund proposed for a fair transition.
All new commissioners proposed by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will go through a series of hearings by the European Parliament from 30 September to 8 October (schedule here). Frans Timmerman is due to respond to MEPs questions on 8 October. The European Parliament will proceed to a final vote on 23 October. This will endorse the new team before its effective start on 1 November 2019.