6th SOER report of the European Environmental Agency releases that the suggested objectives about environment and sustainability by 2020 are not going to come true. However, if demands increase, the proposed goals by 2030 and 2050 can be achieve.
The report shows a slowdown in reducing greenhouse gases, industrial emissions, improving energy efficiency and the percentage of renewable energy. On the other hand, resource efficiency and circular economy have achieve great strides. For this reason, it is necessary the increase in the requirements in order to be able to meet the long-term objectives by 2030: “over the next decade, global environment and climate will require a new approach that serves as a cornerstone for EU and national policies”.
After the failure of the proposed politics objectives related to nature conservation and biodiversity, of which only two were achieved (designate protected maritime zones and designate protected land areas), the report reveals that it is strictly necessary to focus on “enlargement, acceleration, rationalization and implementation of numerous solutions and innovations (…), while stimulating research and development.”
Europe needs to agilize and make real the ecological transition and for that, there must be a change in production process, consumption patterns and lifestyle. European citizens are increasingly more proactives about environment and they demand policy measures which counter the climate change. Thus, there are social, business and policy projects that innovate about business models and work and life styles, looking for a real change for the next decade. The report proves that this change must be made if the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement are to be complied with, because economic growth, as is understood so far, cannot be linked to social and environmental policies that struggle with the side effects of this growth.
But the news is not all bad. Europe has moved forward in resource efficiency and circular economy: “the consumption of materials has decreased and the efficiency in the resource use has improved as gross domestic product has increased.”
Although current perspectives are not good, society, policy-makers and business must become aware of the situation and commit to “living well, respecting the limits of our planet.”