Thursday, 21 November 2019

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EU intensifies engagement with UN’s Sustainable Goals

 EU Agenda2030 RS

The European Commission has published a reflection paper on a Sustainable Europe by 2030. This initiative “forms part of the EU's firm commitment to deliver on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” the European Commission said in a statement.

“Our task is nothing less than to secure our planet for all people. Europe can and should lead the way,” Frans Timmermans, the Commission´s First Vice-President said.

By reviewing the breadth of challenges for Europe and presenting illustrative scenarios for the future, the Paper seeks to steer the discussion on how these goals can be best achieved and how the European Union can best contribute by 2030. Building on what has been achieved in recent years, these scenarios highlight that further action is needed if the EU and the world are to secure a sustainable future in the interest of citizens' well-being.

The Paper puts forward three scenarios to stimulate discussion on how to follow up on the Sustainable Development Goals within the EU. These scenarios are illustrative: they aim to offer different ideas and spur debate and thinking. The eventual outcome would likely be a combination of certain elements from each. The three scenarios are:

An overarching EU SDGs strategy guiding the actions of the EU and its Member States; a continued mainstreaming of the SDGs in all relevant EU policies by the Commission, but not enforcing Member States action; an enhanced focus on external action while consolidating current sustainability ambition at EU level.

 “Sustainable development starts and ends with people, it is about making our economy and society sustainable and prosperous at the same time,” said Vice-President Frans Timmermans. We do this so we can uphold our way of life and upgrade the well-being of our children and grandchildren when it comes to equality, a healthy natural environment, and a thriving, green and inclusive economy.”

The Reflection Paper focuses on the key policy foundations for the sustainability transition, which include moving from linear to circular economy, correcting the imbalances in our food system, future-proofing our energy, buildings and mobility, and making sure that this transition is fair, leaving no one and no place behind.

The Paper also concentrates on the horizontal enablers, which need to underpin the sustainability transition, including education, science, technology, research, innovation and digitisation; finance, pricing, taxation and competition; responsible business conduct, corporate social responsibility and new business models; open and rules-based trade; governance and policy coherence at all levels. The Paper ends by emphasising the importance of blazing the trail for the sustainability transition globally as our policies will only have a limited impact on the planet if others pursue opposing policies.


For more information

Factsheet: Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030
Reflection paper: Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030

 

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