Most of the EU’s future environmental and climate goals will not be reached. In fact, the trend has not improved since 2015. “The seriousness of the message cannot be exaggerated,” says a report from the European Environment Agency.
Every five years, the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen publishes a comprehensive report on the state of the EU’s work on environmental and climate issues. In its latest review, published on Wednesday, the EU Agency states that “Europe faces environmental challenges that are more extensive and urgent than we have been so far”.
“Loss of biodiversity, use of resources and climate change threaten our environment, our health and our well-being. The seriousness of the message cannot be exaggerated, ”the report states.
Of the 32 specific climate and environmental targets set by the EU countries by 2020, only six go completely according to plan, another nine partly go in the right direction, while the other 17 do not seem to reach the targets at all.
The European Environment Agency points out that there has been no significant improvement on the trend in the environmental field since the last report was released in 2015.
When it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the share of renewable energy sources, the EU looks to reach its targets by 2020. But the Environment Agency warns that energy demand has increased in the EU since 2014 and that the trend in the climate area is negative.
“The outlook towards 2030 indicates that the current rate of improvement will not be sufficient to meet the climate and energy targets for 2030 and 2050,” the report authors write.
The EU’s target of reducing emissions by 40 percent by 2030 appears to be missing, even if further measures are taken. Based on current measures, a reduction of 30 percent is expected and “further measures” 36 percent. The new EU Commission has said it wants to raise the target to at least 50 percent or even 55 percent.
The report calls on EU leaders to radically accelerate work in the coming decade to “avoid irreversible changes and damage”.
“Europe will not achieve its sustainability vision of living well within the borders of the planet, by merely promoting economic growth and trying to deal with harmful side effects with environmental and social policy tools. Instead, sustainability must become the guiding principle of ambitious and coherent policies and actions throughout society, ”the European Environment Agency summarizes the situation.