Falling behind the pack? Romania’s lack of ambition in non-ETS sectors may undermine the prospects for reaching the European Green Deal objectives

The European Green Deal offers a bold vision for a clean and decarbonised European Union within the next three decades, with ambitious intermediate steps. This implies that, instead of merely being a footnote concern for various sectors, climate change mitigation is becoming the main organisational principle for the EU economy.

Energy, transport, industrial and agricultural policies will be shaped according to the necessity to reduce their carbon footprint. This fundamental shift will constitute the new development strategy for the EU economy for the following decades. 

This policy brief argues that Romania’s lack of ambitiousness, especially in sectors that are not part of the Emissions Trading System, such as transport, buildings and agriculture, may both undermine the country’s ability to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and could put the Romanian economy at a comparative disadvantage compared to early movers

The end goal is clear: climate neutrality by 2050.

In this light, the European Commission proposed the new European Climate ‘Law’, aiming to enshrine the target of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 into legislation. In effect, as of 2050 any remaining GHG emissions in the EU would need to be balanced by carbon sinks. This will require targeted policy action not only for reducing emissions in all sectors of the economy, but also for promoting and increasing sink capacity, as can be achieved though land-use practices such as afforestation, for example.

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