Thursday, June 8, 2023

Staying on course towards a sustainable Europe – European Environment Agency

Avoiding the worst effects of the climate crisis requires global emissions cuts and unprecedented adaptation. To date scientists do not have detailed quantitative data on biodiversity loss due to climate change, but it is widely believed that the state of nature in Europe and the world is as dangerous as rising temperatures.

The climate and biodiversity crises are also linked in many ways. Perhaps most importantly, both are ultimately caused by unsustainable systems of production and consumption, which include, among other things, how much energy we extract and how we use it.

The 2022 edition of EEA ‘Signals’ provides an overview of energy and sustainability in Europe as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, confronts the war in Ukraine and sets ambitious energy targets, protecting the climate, nature and people’s health.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine hasn’t changed the reality of the climate crisis or nature’s collapse, but it has added another dimension to Europe’s efforts to make our energy system more sustainable.

Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels is the usual formula for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and it is now clear that it is also a path to greater energy security. Russia is using fossil fuels, especially gas, to intimidate and test Europe in a way that would not be possible if we had an energy system based primarily on a strong European network of interconnected national renewable sources .

Building a sustainable energy system for Europe takes time and the decisions we make now will define our choices for decades to come, something that is especially evident with regard to costly energy infrastructure. Given the current circumstances, Europe needs to react not only quickly, but also in the right direction, in order to avoid “mortgaging” itself in the long term with solutions that are incompatible with what we want to offer to future generations. want to leave for

Saving energy is something that all of us can do in our day to day. Reducing heating, providing homes with good insulating materials, using less hot water, using more ecological means of transport… Many of these gestures are already familiar to us and would have immediate benefits across Europe. The energy saved will always be the cleanest and cheapest and will help us all together in the coming winter.

European countries and citizens have shown overwhelming solidarity with Ukraine and within the EU. These efforts and more will be needed in the coming months, years and possibly decades. This winter, high energy costs are hurting many European households, especially those already struggling to meet their basic needs. The increasingly severe effects of climate change often affect those already vulnerable. We must share and bear these burdens in solidarity.

Also globally, the worst effects of climate change will be felt primarily in those regions that have contributed least to the problem and have the fewest resources to adapt. And we must be fair to future generations. The notion of inter-generational justice obliges us to care for the opportunities and protections of those who will succeed us.

In this context of multiple crises, it would be easy to lose hope. But the great challenges of this century have been created by humans and we are the only ones who can solve them. In fact, solutions already exist and should be used without delay. New technologies can accelerate progress, but sitting around and waiting is no longer a viable option. Inaction is becoming increasingly costly and unethical.

The urgency to take action doesn’t mean we have to give up on basic principles of decision making and common goal setting. The European Green Deal demonstrates that the necessary policies can be implemented through a fully democratic process.

Given the opportunity, citizens will support policies that are clear, fair and offer the prospect of a more secure future for all. Citizens should participate fully. In any case, the complexity of our challenges requires greater commitment, greater dialogue and better consideration of the different realities in which people live.

When I joined the EEA almost 10 years ago, the main targets were climate and biodiversity until 2020. Over the past few years, with the European Green Deal, Europe has set a strong long-term course towards achieving a better, fairer and more sustainable future.

What is needed now is that we stay on that path and move forward with a clear determination to realize this agenda while protecting and even strengthening the “European model” that is democratic. values, the rule of law and a social model. He cares for the welfare of all.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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