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Articles by Christian Schwägerl, Yale E360

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This story was originally published by Yale Environment 360 and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

In December 2019, Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, presented with great fanfare the so-called “Green Deal.” The package consisted of new laws and directives, goals, and multi-billion-euro funding opportunities designed to transform the continent into a sustainability powerhouse and a model for the rest of the world. The initiative aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and to net zero by 2050. Additional goals were added, like making farming more sustainable, rewilding large swaths of Europe’s natural areas, and halving pesticide use in agriculture, among others.

But four years later, progress on green policies in Europe is stalling or, worse, going backward. Instead of moving ahead with bold actions to fight climate change and biodiversity loss, many efforts are currently under attack, have been watered down, or are even being reversed in individual me... Read more