Despite new and promising announcements by the Trade Commissioner-designate Phil Hogan, the EU is struggling to turn words and good intentions into effective actions when it comes to using trade as a vehicle for sustainability.
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) have published the first independent quantitative report on the progress of the European Union and its member states towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed by all UN member states in 2015.
The contribution and value of nature to human welfare and well-being – our natural capital – tends to be overlooked in many policy decisions and business choices. As a result, ecosystems are being degraded and natural resources are being used in an unsustainable way.
Europe’s ability to maintain and enhance its prosperity for generations to come requires a hard look at the nature of growth and the changes that would be required to achieve sustainability in line with the SDGs.
Recent Council changes to ‘conditionality’ for CAP direct payments severely weaken what the agricultural sector could deliver for the environment and climate in the next 7 years. This is difficult to justify and is a poor foundation for demanding the budget to be maintained.
The UN Climate Action Summit on 23 September highlighted and confirmed the significant gap between current climate action and the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) cuts needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The UN Climate Action Summit was intended to galvanise increased ambition from Member States and non-state actors. Unfortunately, despite some unusually bold diplomatic moves on the part of the UN, the world's large emitters have not met that challenge.
Europe’s 2020 strategy and the 7th Environmental Action Plan were conceived before the SDGs, the Paris agreement and before some of the recent advances in scientific understanding of planetary boundaries, and of the scale of interconnected challenges to come. In light of the severity and urgency of risk identified by experts around the world, a new approach is now needed.
Never has a research and innovation framework design exercise been so important to the future of Europe. With a headline budget of €100bn, the Commission is currently engaging with citizens, researchers, policymakers, innovators and others to debate and shape the strategic priorities for Horizon Europe - EU’s future research and innovation framework programme.