Drastically improving the energy efficiency of Europe's buildings, increasing the use of renewables and educating consumers on energy savings are among the main prerequisites for reducing the number of energy poor in the EU in the long term.
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The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) supports the key messages of the European Commission's Communication on Sustainable Carbon Cycles in an opinion adopted at its May plenary, and believes that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) must provide a strategic framework paving the way for a low-carbon transition in agriculture.
Following the publication of the evaluations on the shortcomings of the Environmental Criminal Directive – ECD, the Commission decided to replace it with a new EU Directive aimed at making the protection of the environment through criminal law more precise, legally secure and effective. In the opinion "Improving environmental protection through criminal law", adopted at the March plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) made concrete proposals to improve the legislation, in order to make it truly effective, proportionate and dissuasive.
EESC plenary debate with Kadri Simson, Commissioner for Energy
9 December 2021
The EESC Consumers and Environment Category has made significant contributions to the protection of consumer rights and the environment in Europe. It has championed topics such as the regulation of consumer over-indebtedness, planned obsolescence and the circular economy. Fair and just climate mitigation and adaptation must take centre stage of the Category's activities in the future as consumers and citizens will be key actors in the green transition.
Conference '30 years defending European consumers', 1 October 2021
Statement by the Diversity Europe Group III
An interview with Arnaud Schwartz, a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) from the Diversity Europe group, representing France Nature Environnement, the French federation of associations for the protection of nature and the environment. He is currently one of the Vice Presidents of the NAT Bureau and his work focuses in particular on the protection of the environment.
Despite being a party to the Aarhus Convention since 2005, the European Union is still not fully complying with its "access to justice" provisions. In its opinion adopted on 27 January, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the Commission's proposal to revise the EU Aarhus Regulation as a step forward in improving access to administrative and judicial review procedures in environmental matters for citizens and NGOs. However, the Commission does not go far enough. Civil society organisations are asking the EU for stronger enforcement mechanisms to deliver effectively on the Aarhus Convention and on the European Green Deal.
On one of the most important weeks of the year for climate action, with the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, the European Council on Climate, and the launching on 16 December of the Climate Pact by the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls upon ownership and empowerment of civil society as a precondition to success.