Europe will achieve only a small proportion of its environmental targets for 2020, the EU’s European Environment Agency (EEA) states.
In a new report, the EEA reviews the status of targets set by EU member states and other countries covered by the Agency’s work, including Norway.
Of the 35 environmental targets for 2020, only six are achieved. In addition, nine goals are likely to be partially achieved.
“We still do not take the necessary steps to reduce greenhouse gases, preserve nature and develop an economy that is within nature’s resilience. We will go through the report thoroughly and see how Norway is doing well and where we need to sharpen the measures,” says Climate and Environment Minister Ola Elvestuen (Venstre) in a statement.
A major challenge in Norway is the climate emissions, and the Norwegian emission target for 2020 will most likely not be reached.
The EEA report provides a snapshot of the state of the environment in Europe and measures progress towards the established environmental goals.
Some of the conclusions are that species diversity is declining rapidly, that there is over-consumption of natural resources and that the consequences of climate change are greater.
By 2030, it is currently anticipated that even fewer environmental goals will be achieved. The EEA warns that European countries are not on track to achieve their greenhouse gas emissions targets for the next decade.
“It is disappointing to see that there has been no improvement since the last report in 2015, so we have to get up to speed to reverse the bleak outlook towards 2030,” says Director Ellen Hambro of the Environment Agency (Miljødirektoratet).
The goals for 2020 that are likely to be achieved include, for example, protected land and sea areas, the efficiency of resource use and renewable energy.
In areas such as species diversity, air pollution and overall climate emissions, the development is less encouraging.
The European food, transport and energy systems require major restructuring, according to the Environment Agency, which calls the EEA report the most comprehensive environmental assessment ever conducted in Europe.
However, EEA chief Hans Bruyninckx welcomes the fact that climate and the environment are receiving greater attention from ordinary Europeans and EU leaders.
Bruyninckx told DPA News Agency that the new European Commission’s leader Ursula von der Leyen has put climate change higher on the agenda than ever before.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today