On 4 December 2019, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published its latest ‘State of the Environment’ (SOER 2020) report, which finds that Europe faces environmental challenges of unprecedented scale and urgency. SOER 2020 is the most comprehensive environmental assessment ever undertaken on Europe, providing a snapshot of where Europe stands in meeting 2020 and 2030 policy targets as well as longer term 2050 goals and ambitions to shift to a sustainable, low carbon future.
The report notes that Europe has already made significant progress over the past two decades in terms of climate change mitigation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Signs of progress are also evident in other areas, such as tackling air and water pollution and the introduction of new policies to tackle plastic waste and bolster climate change adaptation and the circular and bio-economy.
However, the report further argues that a change of direction is urgently needed to face climate change challenges, reverse degradation and ensure future prosperity. Nonetheless, the report states that there is reason for hope, amid increased public awareness of the need to shift to a sustainable future, technological innovations, growing community initiatives and stepped up EU action like the European Green Deal.
Source: EEA, 4 December 2019