EU to fail 2050 Green targets due to lack of European citizens’ engagement

Joint press conference by Karmenu Vella, Member of the EC in charge of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency (EEA) on the presentation of the 'European environment - state and outlook 2015' report. From left to right, Enrico Brivio, Karmenu Vella and Hans Bruyninckx (EC Audiovisual Services, 3/03/2015)

Joint press conference by Karmenu Vella, Member of the EC in charge of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency (EEA) on the presentation of the ‘European environment – state and outlook 2015’ report. From left to right, Enrico Brivio, Karmenu Vella and Hans Bruyninckx (EC Audiovisual Services, 3/03/2015)

The European Environment Agency (EEA) published last Tuesday a report that shows the substantial efforts that have been made in the EU regarding the objective of “living well within the limits of the planet”. It also clearly states that substantial steps must be made in order to be able to reach the environmental goals by 2050, one of which is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95%.

The analysis of the report is directed towards the European Commission (EC) which is about to respond positively in 2015 through environmental packages on Circular Economy, EU Biodiversity Strategy, Ocean Governance and Air Quality.

In addition to the measures that must be implemented to meet the designated targets, it is of great importance that more attention is being paid in providing a “proper” and “greener” education and culture to the future generations which is the cornerstone in the solution of the world’s climate issues.

Europe’s environmental situation

Hans Bruyninckx, EEA’s Executive Director, said: “Our analysis shows that European policies have successfully tackled many environmental challenges over the years. But it also shows that we continue to harm the natural systems that sustain our prosperity. While living within planetary limits is an immense challenge, there are huge benefits in responding to it. Fully using Europe’s capacity to innovate could make us truly sustainable and put us at the frontier of science and technology, creating new industries and a healthier society.”

Through this statement, the EEA’s Executive Director provides evidence that the strategy which was set for 2020 is not yet accomplished and the next 5 years seem to be crucial. First of all, the green industry has expanded by more than 50% between 2000 and 2011, showing that is not affected by the recent 2008 financial crisis but on the contrary has gained power. Secondly, the EU has accomplished to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 19% (almost reach the 20% target) since 1990 while the economy has grown by 45%. Thirdly, the findings of this study reveal that the air quality has largely been improved due to the decrease of the air pollutants’ emissions.

However, there are areas in the environmental agenda that don’t show enhancement and for sure are not in line with the targets that have been set in the Europe 2020 Strategy. More specifically, the report points out the disappearance of the animals’ and plants’ habitats while Europe faces difficulties in governing the marine ecosystems.

EU must act now

European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “I see the State of the Environment Report 2015 as the ‘starting line’ of my mandate. The report clearly shows that EU environmental policies are delivering benefits. Environmental policies are also delivering jobs. The rapid growth of the green economy even during the worst years of the recession bodes well for Europe’s competitiveness. We must stay ever vigilant to ensure that good policy, well implemented, means excellent environmental results both on land and at sea. Innovative investment to safeguard prosperity and quality of life are a priority. The long-term investment we make today can ensure that in 2050 we live well, and within the limits of the planet.”

The European Commission is determined to continue and expand the environmental policies in order to bring better results and thus meet the EEA’s targets. Now the main point for the EU is not whether it is going to reduce the gas emissions by 20% by 2020 (it is nearly there), but more so whether the percentage will be doubled by the end of 2030 and meet the final goal of 80-95% decrease of gas emissions in the next 35 years.

EU: a candidate with potentials

The 80-95% decrease of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2050 sounds quite unrealistic now (if continues at the same rates) but even so Europe must try very hard to meet this target for the sake of its citizens. Of course, the fact that Europe has been the best “student” (among the rest of the world) in the fight against global warming and climate change and that is also providing financial aid (€7.3 billion over 2010-2012) to developing countries in order to tackle this long-lasting issue is rather promising.

We must not forget that the EU has long been a pioneer in the international negotiations on climate change and played a vital role in the development of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. Moreover, the EU has contributed the most in the new global climate agreement where more countries will probably participate and further reductions of gas emission will be applied in the future.

Education: a sector to invest on

One of the sectors that need more attention is no other than education and especially the part of environmental awareness of the EU citizens. The EU should invest more on the in-depth knowledge and culture of the environment and its issues, by helping its citizens understand the matter in full. We need environment more than the environment needs us in order to survive and “flourish” on this planet.

It is only with the true engagement of the European citizen that we can give a direct punch at climate change and its extended consequences on the ecosystem and thus our lives. And this is where the EU will be asked to tackle an issue that has often awfully failed in the past; to pass the “EU message” beyond the slim frontiers of the capital of Belgium, Brussels. Climate change is not a “Brussels-bubble” based issue but clearly a European one.

All in all, the big question on climate change is whether the EU has the inspired democratic tools to help its peoples embrace and actively participate in its “Green strategy”. The answer is to be given in the years to come.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Commissioner sings “Volar-e” but the European driver no “Cantar-e”

Parliament votes reform for better European Co2 market but critics want it sooner than later

The Commission unsuccessfully pretends to want curbing of tax evasion

Ecofin: ‘The Friday battle’ for the banking union

Climate change will never be combatted by EU alone while some G20 countries keep procrastinating

The ECB again takes care of the bankers not the people

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

Vulnerable young people must not be blamed & stigmatised for violent radicalisation

‘Free state aid’ for imprudent banks

Draghi’s ‘quasi’ announcement of a new era of more and cheaper money

“Hasta la vista” Google says to Spain and now Europe is next?

Apparently the EU Digital Single Market passes necessarily from China’s Digital Silk Road

Commission and ECB prepare new financial mega-tool in support of SMEs

Diana in Vietnam

VW emissions scandal: EU unable to protect its consumers against large multinationals

EU seeks foreign support on 5G from Mobile World Congress 2015 as the “digital gold rush” begins

Camino de Santiago – a global community on our doorstep

Greek citizens to pay the price again but Tsipras risks losing next elections

European banking stress tests 2014: A more adverse approach for a shorter banking sector

It is me

Will Europe be able to deal with the migration crisis alone if Turkey quits the pact?

EU-India summit: Will the EU manage to sign a free trade agreement with India before Britain?

Europe united in not supporting a US attack on Syria

EU prepares a banking union amidst financial ruins

ECB readies itself for extraordinary monetary measures defying Germany

Eurozone banks are unable to support real economy’s dawning growth

EU agricultural production no more a self-sufficiency anchor

It ain’t over until Google says it’s over

The MH17 tragedy to put a tombstone on Ukrainian civil war

Impacting society with digital ingenuity – World Summit Award proclaiming the top 8 worldwide

Greece at the mercy of ECB while sailing through uncharted waters

Chinese economy to raise speed and help the world grow

Public opinion misled by the Commission on air transport safety

Menu for change: why we have to go towards a Common Food Policy

Poverty and social exclusion skyrocket with austerity

London to say hello or goodbye to Brussels this week

My unlimited China

The Eurogroup has set Cyprus on fire

China is now heavily endorsing its big investment flow in the Central Eastern European (CEE) countries

Eurostat: Real unemployment double than the official rate

Germany objects to EU Commission’s plan for a Eurozone bank deposits insurance scheme but Berlin could go along

EU out to conquer African Union summit

European Commission: Does Apple, Starbucks and Fiat really pay their taxes?

EU Commission – US hasten talks to avoid NGO reactions on free trade agreement

Lithuania needs to get rid of the victim mentality

EU imposes provisional anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar panels

The Sting’s Values

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “European unity and cooperation is being called on question”, Vice President Joe Biden criticizes from Davos

The European Commission cuts roaming charges. But “it’s not enough”…

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

Bugged Europe accepts US demands and blocks Morales plane

MWC 2016 Live: Industrial world prepares to reap digital benefits

Bayer-Monsanto merger: the story of the rise of the “endless company”

Athens searches frantically for a new compromise between politics and economic reality

European Court of Justice to Google: It is #righttobeforgotten but not #righttoberemembered

MWC 2016: IoT experts fret over fragmentation

IMF to teach Germany a Greek lesson

A Sting Exclusive: “Junior Enterprises themselves carry out projects focusing on the environment”, JADE President Daniela Runchi highlights from Brussels

European Youth Forum welcomes adoption of Sustainable Development Goals and calls on European countries to not ignore them!

How to test if Kiev’s ‘Maidan’ was an authentic revolt or a well-planned operation

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s