Last week there were two long-awaited announcements within the EU. The European Council endorsed the objective of achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050 and the European Commission presented the European Green Deal  – a package of measures that should enable European citizens and businesses to benefit from sustainable green transition. 

CLC warmly welcomes both announcements, the 2050 target decreases uncertainty for long-term investments and the Green Deal enables more systemic solutions. It is excellent that the Green Deal is seen as a growth strategy and also sets a path for a transition that is just and socially fair. 

The CLC Board learned about and discussed the Green Deal in its meeting on 18 December with participants from Finnish ministries. 

“The Green Deal represents a new kind of holistic approach. This is most welcome, because all sectors are integrated and decarbonisation has to take place economy-wide. It is of utmost importance to focus on the development and deployment of new cost-effective technologies and low-carbon solutions in order to reach climate neutrality,” stated Riku Huttunen, Director-General of the Energy Department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland. 

“The European Green Deal means that we are building the European economy on a sustainable base. It means that all European policies need to be in line with Paris Agreement goals. It is also a strong signal to our international partners, showing that the EU is leading globally by example. The Green Deal is about turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities. It is a big opportunity for businesses to develop new solutions and innovations that can become successful globally. The global green transition has started and it is irreversible,” stated Jarmo Muurman, Senior Ministerial Adviser from the Ministry of Environment of Finland.

Among many other proposals, the Green Deal includes a possible extension and evaluation of the EU Emissions Trading System to new sectors such as maritime and other transport, and buildings.

“This is excellent news. In our position paper, CLC has also called for more systemic solutions and the long-term target and the Green Deal offer good opportunities to develop these. CLC is willing to support and we can bring insight on how to unlock private investments and develop market-based mechanisms to accelerate the change,” said Henrik Ehrnrooth, Chairman of the CLC Board.

CLC’s proposal to the EU includes setting a clear climate target – including a carbon budget – to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, planning a more systemic solution via extending the Emissions Trading System factoring in verifiable carbon sinks, a green fund to support the transformation of society and a just transition, and several measures to improve and enhance a level playing field for competition. 

CLC is the largest climate-business NGO in the EU measured by the number of member organisations. Its members include 56 major companies and organisations, whose stock market value is more than half of that of companies listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. The Coalition’s members believe that a profound transition by society towards sustainable consumption habits and economy is not only possible but also economically viable and financeable.

For further information, please contact:

Jouni Keronen, Chief Executive Officer, Climate Leadership Coalition, jouni.keronen(at), tel.: +358 50 453 4881