EAAP Newsletter n.182, Editorial "European Green Deal"

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May 27, 2020

Animal scientists must dedicate time to the European Green pact for this will have a great impact on our studies, activities and, more generally, life. Ursula von der Leyen just focused major efforts on the “Green Deal” and is likely to earn a mention in history thanks to this symbolic provision capable of characterizing its mandate. The European Green pact between public and private sectors will radically transform the economy of the Union and hopefully make the European continent the first to achieve “climate neutrality” by 2050. Last Tuesday the EU Commission explained the proposal with more details after a first draft presented a few months ago. The details were mainly about how to fund it; that’s always the most problematic part. The goal is to mobilize public and private investment to meet the European greenhouse gas emission reduction targets that is now even more ambitious, going from the current 40% cut to 50-55%, compared to 1990 levels.
To achieve this goal the Commission estimates that € 260 billion additional investment will be needed each year. The main objective of the next research and innovation programme, “Horizon Europe”, is to support the necessary systemic changes to reach climate neutrality. “Horizon Europe” will support sustainable solutions and new technologies so that over 35% of its spending will contribute to climate objectives. Circular bio-based sectors, protecting the environment and biodiversity will be among the major topics to be supported that coincide with our interests. Four out of the five agreed mission areas in Horizon Europe directly support the European Green Deal; i) healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters; ii) Climateneutral and smart cities; iii) soil health and food; iv) adaptation to climate change and societal transformation. Our future research activities as animal scientists will be heavily influenced by this continental choice.