The COVID-19 crisis has created the conditions for circular products and services to become the norm in Europe, says the EESC. In a recent opinion on the new EU Circular Economy Action Plan, the EESC urges lawmakers to ensure the circular economy finds a place and resources in the overall "greenprint" for Europe's recovery.
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As Europe slowly emerges from the coronavirus crisis, the climate emergency is starting to regain the place it deserves, coming back to the top of the EU agenda.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), which brings together civil society organisations from all Member States, developed this Opinion in response to a request by the Republic of Croatia's Presidency of the Council of the EU. The protection of the environment and the fight against climate change are the presidency's key issues.
The EESC considers it crucial to improve implementation of the Environmental Crime Directive to ensure the best possible environmental protection in the EU.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is deeply concerned with the growing disconnect between the climate emergency and the political answers to the climate crisis at COP25. Without any clear signs of increased ambition by the major polluters despite the continuous rise of emissions, the EESC expects the EU to take the lead and deliver on its promise of a growth that gives back more than it takes away.
To mark the European Week of Waste Reduction, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) gave the initiative its full support and called for a cultural shift to reduce waste production in the EU. The EESC has undertaken a number of initiatives to reduce its own waste production and has addressed this topic in several opinions, as well as being a key partner in the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform.
The Finnish presidency of the Council of the EU will place the fight against climate change high on its agenda. One of the challenges will be to unite the 28 Member States around this fight and focus on the opportunities that a more sustainable Europe can provide for economic, social and environmental progress.
The European project should be strengthened to deal more effectively with a changing world: this was the main conclusion reached at the round table on "European policies for a world in transition: challenges ahead of the upcoming European elections”, held on 4 March at the European Commission Representation in Madrid.
As the Commission is getting ready to publish the second edition of the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR) next year, the EESC is currently preparing an exploratory opinion at the request of the European Parliament on the implementation of EU environmental laws, particularly in the areas where the biggest shortcomings are found (air quality, water and waste).
Shortly after the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report of 8 October urging countries to massively shift towards a new paradigm, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted an opinion arguing for a "finance-climate pact" to ensure the financing of the necessary transitions. With the EU budget for the period 2021/2027 about to be adopted, the EESC tables the most ambitious proposal among the EU institutions: 40% of the EU budget should be devoted to the fight against climate change and its consequences, be it environmental, economic or social.