In 2011 the international community launched negotiations on a new international agreement to act collectively to protect the earth's climate system. This agreement, which is to be completed by the end of 2015 and to apply from 2020 onwards, is currently being negotiated through a process known as the "Durban Platform for Enhanced Action" (ADP). The EESC advocates that European engagement should be proactive, ambitious and realistic about what can be accomplished and adaptive to changes in the global environment. Reflecting all three pillars of sustainability as well as transparency and accountability are pre-requisites for any successful future climate agreement. An EU that is able to cope with external challenges will also be able to provide a new driving narrative for its citizens.
Nachhaltige Entwicklung - Related Opinions
In the referral letter for this exploratory opinion the Commission makes the link between Sustainable development goals (SDGs), inclusive green economy and poverty eradication and asks to explore how, in a future framework of universally applicable SDGs, the economic, environmental and social dimension might be successfully integrated.
(...) The EESC believes that developing an inclusive green economy will be Europe's main challenge in the coming years if it wants to remain a global economic power. At the Rio+20 conference, the EU pledged its commitment to the green economy as a form of sustainable development. Now is the time for the EU to take action. This is why we need an economic development model that prioritises public investment and draws up adequate incentives for private investment to develop "green" infrastructure and R&D&I, with the dual purpose of promoting production in order to emerge quickly from the current recession and guiding our transition through this third industrial revolution from a leading economic and social position (...)
In accordance with the request from the Danish Presidency, the EESC has assessed the instruments and measures needed to shift to sustainable modes of production and consumption. Welcoming the awareness and efforts of the European institutions in this area, and with a view to working towards these objectives and ensuring a just transition, the EESC calls for the development of a renewed, joint vision of the economic model, including consultations within a specialised forum with all sectors of organised civil society, in order to set objectives and targets and update the monitoring procedure.
The EESC agrees that the 2050 vision goal of a greenhouse gas reduction of 60% in the transport sector, although very challenging, is in line with the EU's overall climate policy aims and that it strikes a reasonable balance between the need for quick reductions of greenhouse gases and the time needed to optimise energy efficiency in a single European Transport Area and develop new and sustainable fuels and propulsion systems in order to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
The Rio 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development must send out a clear signal to the world community, with specific proposals for the transition to an economic order based on qualitative economic growth that helps to eliminate poverty and social injustice whilst preserving natural resources for future generations.
The EESC is convinced that ensuring access to resources, food and energy should be amongst the priorities of the global sustainability agenda.
Policy measures and clear indicators must be established to measure progress on the road to greater sustainability.
It agrees with the Commission that the EU 2020 Strategy must pave the way for longer-term goals from now until 2050 and beyond. It wonders, however, why the Commission is coupling this flagship initiative with the EU 2020 Strategy, rather than putting it forward as a concrete expression of the sustainable development strategy, which would make much more sense.