environment, climate, energy

The EU has high environmental standards and is taking measures to protect endangered species and nature reserves, to safeguard air quality and clean drinking water, to improve waste management and to reduce the impact of harmful chemicals.

Environmental protection is a priority of EU policy, where sustainability is becoming increasingly important at all levels. Challenges such as climate change, deforestation and soil degradation, preserving biodiversity and ensuring food security cannot be considered in isolation. It is about fundamentally changing the way we produce, consume and act.

In 2015, the United Nations adopted an "Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development". This reflects a long-standing international discussion on sustainable economic, social and ecological development. The 193 member states of the United Nations have committed themselves to implementing 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at national, regional and international level by 2030. The goal is for developed and developing countries to act together to eliminate poverty and other forms of disadvantage, improve health and education, reduce inequality and stimulate economic growth, while combating climate change and protecting our oceans and forests.

In December 2019, the European Commission under President Ursula von der Leyen proposed a new sustainable growth strategy for Europe with the message "A European Green Deal", which aims to implement SDGs, take action against climate change and strengthen European leadership on climate change. The European Green Deal contains a roadmap on how to tackle climate and environmental challenges across all policy areas. The transition to a new ecological economic model shall be made in a fair way for all citizens at the same time. The political goal is to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050. This means that by 2050, there should be no more net greenhouse gas emissions and economic growth should be independent of resource use.