European Union Green Deal - Is it significantly viable?
The EU Green Deal’s goals for climate change has certain loopholes as indicated by a draft of the European Union (EU)’s Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.
The Green Deal needed to lay out an ambitious Green House Gas (GHG) emissions reductions target, but failed to do so. The Biodiversity Strategy is now being used to make up for this disappointment.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Special Report on 1.5 degrees Celsius made clear that the world must reach net zero emissions by 2050. This means EU, must aim for net zero ideally by 2030. So, the basis on which this biodiversity strategy is built — a 50 per cent reduction by 2030 — is flawed.
The globe currently emits around 37 gigatons of carbon dioxide each year. The IPCC has indicated that limiting deforestation and land degradation can cut emissions by 0.4–5.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide each year, and that afforestation and reforestation can enhance the carbon captured and stored in vegetation and soils by 0.5–10.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide each year.
Since the policy is broadly to enhance biodiversity, the expectation is that it will balance climate considerations at the same time. The ‘nature-based solutions’ emphasis, however risks upsetting this balance.
The EU can address this by making the need for limits and safeguards clear, even in this framework document.