How European Green Deal is Strengthening EU Foreign Policy

Global warming is an increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere. This temperature increase has been going on since the late 19th century.

Global warming is an increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. This temperature increase has been going on since the late 19th century. The main cause of global warming is greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases come from human activities, such as industry, transportation, power generation, and others. Global warming has become a global issue that needs to be resolved collectively by state actors or institutions in the world. One of them is the European Union in addressing the issue of global warming in the region. The European Union in this case formed a set of policy initiatives called the European Green Deal. The European Green Deal (EGD) is a set of EU policy initiatives that aim to make the European continent carbon neutral by 2050. In the European Green Deal policy, there are several important sectors to achieve an environmentally friendly and sustainable Europe, such as energy, transportation, buildings, industry, and agriculture. As one of a set of policies established by the European Union, how can the European Green Deal impact the European Union’s foreign policy?

Establishment and Targets of the European Green Deal

The European Green Deal was established by the European Commission in December 2019, as a commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. On December 12, 2019, the European Council concluded that the transition to climate neutrality will have significant impacts and opportunities, such as increased economic growth potential, renewed business and marketing models, and renewed employment and technology development. This is in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and also the need to prepare a supportive framework that can benefit all member states while taking into account different national conditions.

March 4, 2020, as a key part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission adopted its proposal for European climate legislation. On September 17, 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal that amended the original proposal to include a revised EU emissions reduction target of at least 55% by 2030. The European Commission also published a communication on the planned 2030 climate targets. The European Green Deal has important targets including reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 and planting an additional 3 billion trees across the EU by 2030. The European Green Deal has programs of initiatives, such as the development of renewable energy, improvement of energy efficiency, preservation and protection of the environment, and enhancement of green mobility.

Implementation Objectives and EU Strategy through the European Green Deal

The implementation of the European Green Deal has 3 objectives. First, Carbon Neutrality by 2050, which is the main pillar in achieving climate neutrality. This means that the European Union seeks to balance the expenditure of greenhouse gas emissions with their absorption. Secondly, Circular Economy, the European Green Deal also emphasizes the transition to a circular economy. Circular economy in this case is the efficiency of resources used, minimizing waste, resistant and recyclable products. Third, Biodiversity Maintenance, the European Green Deal also includes initiatives to restore biodiversity in Europe, where the European Union believes that the role of biodiversity is important in tackling climate change and can ensure a sustainable future.

The European Commission also outlined several strategies for implementing the European Green Deal. First, emission reduction, as one of the main objectives of the European Green Deal is climate neutrality, which corresponds to a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, in various sectors such as energy, transportation, industry and others. Secondly, the transition to clean energy, the Green Deal promotes the transition towards the use of clean energy sources with a particular focus on renewable energy and improved energy efficiency. Investment in green technology and infrastructure is also considered to play an important role in making the transition to clean energy. Third, the biodiversity strategy, which aims to protect and restore the region’s ecosystems, enhance the protection of EU protected areas and address threats to biodiversity.

Influence of the European Green Deal on EU Foreign Policy

The European Union established the European Green Deal as a set of policies to achieve climate neutrality and its implementation has an indirect influence on EU foreign policy. For example in terms of economy and industry, where competition between industries in this era of globalization is getting tougher, market competition is now dominated by China and Asian countries that are starting to develop as New Industrial Countries. This makes the European Union have concerns about their competitiveness against foreign companies that are starting to show their strength, besides that the European Union must pay higher carbon prices and comply with stricter environmental laws. The European Green Deal here provides protection for EU companies by introducing EU companies to a border adjustment mechanism or tariff on imported goods based on their carbon content, which is equivalent to the cost of carbon in the EU. This has an impact on economic competition and the EU’s outward global trade flows.

The European Green Deal also gives the EU more potential to position itself as a global leader in climate action and environmental diplomacy. The EU needs to become a global standard-setter for energy transition, especially for hydrogen and environmental sustainability. Implementing mandatory compliance with environmental regulations as a condition for accessing the EU market could provide a strong incentive for all trading partners to comply. The EU should also export the European Green Deal through sustainable energy investments in developing countries. This will have an important influence on the development of the EU market and promote economic development and diversification in cooperation partner countries. The European Green Deal as a climate neutrality target not only impacts the EU region in terms of the environment and gas emissions in the EU, but also strengthens the EU’s global geopolitical and economic position to regions outside the EU. The geopolitical and global economic position of the EU can be a factor that strengthens the course of foreign policy created by the European Union.

Daffa Leeven Pratama
Daffa Leeven Pratama
My name is Daffa Leeven Pratama, a third-year undergraduate student. I am studying international relations at Andalas University, Indonesia. During my academic and non-academic experiences, I have an interest in social and political issues on a domestic and international scale. I am also active in volunteer events and social organizations on campus.