Environmental alarm bell must be heard by Juncker Commission

The European Environment Agency today released its five-yearly assessment of the state and outlook of the environment in Europe (1). Commenting on the outlook, Green environment policy spokesperson Benedek Javor said:

“The EEA has today sounded a clear alarm bell about the state of the environment in Europe. Across the broad spectrum of areas assessed – from biodiversity, to air and water quality, to climate change and beyond – it is clear that Europe is facing major challenges and will not meet the goals it has set for itself without a shift in policy.

“The European Commission and its president Jean-Claude Juncker must hear this alarm and shift tack. The worrying signals coming out from the new Commission, notably from its vice-president Frans Timmermans in presenting the Commission’s work programme, are that environmental policy will take a back seat and suffer from a regulatory roll-back. This outlook should force a fundamental rethink.

“If Europe is to have a chance of long-term sustainability, the ambition of our existing policies will have to be strengthened, as economic or technology driven efficiency gains alone will be insufficient. It is also clear that there are major economic benefits to be gained by prioritising sustainability. Instead of scaling-back key regulatory proposals, such as on the circular economy and air quality, the Commission should be giving ambitious policies top priority.”

(1) The EEA outlook can be found here.