What is the green transition?

The Green Transition refers to a strategy of social change that will enable the current ecologically unsustainable global situation to be transformed into a new sustainable paradigm “that drives development and peace, with the aim of improving the living conditions of all”, according to the manifesto published by UN-Habitat in its Strategic Plan 2020-2023 The primary goal of this Plan is to promote a sustainable urban future, given that the growth of cities is an unstoppable trend and that we have reached a point where we must turn disadvantages into opportunities.

Likewise, the green transition includes the fight against climate change through concrete actions, such as the imperative reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, because according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), 9 out of every 10 people in the world breathe polluted air.

The foundations of what we call today the green transition were laid in the Paris Agreement. This was “the first international, universal and legally binding agreement on climate change, adopted at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) in December 2015. Its main goal was to ensure, through various means, that global temperatures never exceed 1.5% of pre-industrial levels.

What measures can states take to achieve this goal, so important for the survival of humanity?

  1. Creation and prioritization of the climate action plan.

In Spain, for example, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism became the Ministry for Green Transition and Demographic Challenges.

  1. Promoting decarbonisation and favoring green energy over fossil fuels.
  2. Commitment to green transportation.
  3. Increasing investment in energy efficiency.
  4. Supporting business and scientific innovations.
  5. Designing competitive electricity markets.
  6. Creation of action plans and national strategies for circular economy.
  7. Increasing ‘green’ public investments.

Through these and many other measures, each country commits to fostering a green transition within its own territory, to ensure that our planet reaches a new, sustainable reality.

Across Europe and after painstaking negotiations in 2021, these climate goals have been renewed, adapted to the current environmental crisis. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gases by 55% by 2030, and from 2050 to make Europe a ‘negative’ emitter, with a greater capacity to offset emissions than to produce them.

It should also be noted that the European Commission helps EU member states in designing and implementing reforms that support the green transition and contribute to achieving the goals of the European Green Deal. It also helps in designing the necessary procedures in central and local administrations and establishing coordination structures that are necessary for the implementation of green policies.

How can you be part of the green transition?

Choosing green energy, traveling by public and sustainable transport and working to raise public awareness are important factors in the green transition, but the reality is this: real change can only be achieved through an inclusive and collaborative approach of all sectors of society.

Both at individual and business level, it is vital to support innovation projects that contribute to sustainability and, in turn, continue training and development to be able to join the change in a transformative role.

An excellent example that this is possible is the city of Lahti, chosen as the Green Capital of Europe in 2021. Lahti is a Finnish city that, thanks to the cooperation between citizens, businesses and authorities, has turned from an industrial city into a benchmark in sustainability, circular economy and climate neutrality.

You can find out all the latest news and examples of successful business practices in the field of sustainable development on January 26 at the Designing A Green Future conference. Participation is free, and you can register via the Entrio platform.