That’s the message from Ursula von der Leyen, the newly elected first female President of the European Commission.
Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, before the historic vote in support of her presidency, she said: “Our most pressing challenge is keeping our planet healthy. This is the greatest responsibility and opportunity of our times. I want Europe to become the first climate-neutral continent in the world by 2050. To make this happen, we must take bold steps together. Our current goal of reducing our emissions by 40% by 2030 is not enough.
Ms von der Leyen continued: “I will put forward a Green Deal for Europe in my first 100 days in office. I will put forward the first ever European Climate Law which will set the 2050 target into law. This increase of ambition will need investment on a major scale. Public money will not be enough. I will propose a Sustainable Europe Investment Plan and turn parts of the European Investment Bank into a Climate Bank. This will unlock €1 trillion of investment over the next decade.”
Europe must continue to show the political will and ambition to deliver a climate-neutral future for its citizens, and take on the responsibility of becoming the continent that inspires the rest of the world to follow suit.