According to Brussels, the European Union (EU) will have to invest €1.5 trillion (~$1.63 trillion) every year between 2031 and 2050 in order to reach net zero emissions.
The spending plans also include the goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 90% by 2040, as reported by the Financial Times.
These plans are part of a draft document by the European Commission, which argues that the staggering investment will actually save the EU money, as succeeding in limiting rising temperatures may prevent €2.4 trillion (~$2.6 trillion) in economic losses and will save €2.8 trillion (~$3 trillion) in fossil fuel imports.
The introduction of the new 90% emissions reduction goal is seen as a means to speed up climate action, and some sectors are already claiming that it may be far too difficult to achieve in the wake of high inflation and the energy crisis consequences.
Farmers are among those particularly opposed to the new measures, as protests have already engulfed large parts of Western Europe and Romania.
Some are skeptical of the new €1.5 trillion figure, which they believe will not be endorsed unless it can be framed as beneficial for the economy at large and not just climate.
And indeed, the draft text does include mention of the opportunity the energy transition has to stabilize living costs, support cleantech and create new jobs.
However, getting there will require, among other things, the full decarbonization of the power sector by 2040 and a roughly 85% reduction of fossil fuel consumption compared to 1990 levels.
A large portion of the EU’s annual investments will go towards scaling carbon capture technology in order to reach a capture capacity of 450 million metric tons per year by mid-century.
So far, the EU commission has not commented on the draft.