The European Environment Agency (EEA) is clear: Europe is at an environmental tipping point which threatens its prosperity and the risks go beyond the consequences of human-induced global warming.
According to the report on the state of the environment, Europe will not reach its 2030 environmental objectives and therefore risks undermining its ability to decarbonise in the coming decades.
Most solutions are already identified but they risk failure if they are not implemented with the required urgency, concludes the report which evaluates data from 39 countries, and is used to frame EU climate and environmental policy.
Hans Bruyninckx (Belgium) EEA executive director says: «A business as usual approach will not cut it. We have a narrow window of opportunity in the next decade to scale up measures to protect nature, lessen the impacts of climate change and radically reduce our consumption of natural resources,” he added that incremental changes have made some progress but not nearly enough to meet long-term goals. We already have knowledge, technologies and tools needed to make key production and consumption systems such as food, mobility [transport] and energy sustainable. Future wellbeing and prosperity depend on this and our ability to harness society-wide action to bring about change».
The report calls on Europe’s leaders and policymakers to radically scale up actions to put Europe on track «to avoid irreversible change and damage”» and to investing in sustainability while stopping subsidies for environmentally damaging activities, especially fossil fuels.
Frans Timmermans (Netherlands) vice-president of the European Commission says: «The report is perfectly timed to give us the added impetus we need as we start a new five-year cycle in the European Commission and as we prepare to present the European green deal. If we get this right, and our economy and our planet will be winners too».