The EESC :
The adoption of the European Union Climate law has set an ambitious emission reduction target for 2030 while confirming the climate neutrality objective for 2050. According to the IPCC scenarios, keeping global warming below 1.5°C requires that global anthropogenic net emissions should be zero by around 2050. Secondly, meeting this goal requires the deployment of CDR, which can happen by means of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and removals in the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector. The IPCC defines CDR as "anthropogenic activities removing CO2 from the atmosphere and durably storing it in geological, terrestrial, or ocean reservoirs, or in products".
Already for some time and especially since spring 2021, widespread and abrupt chip shortages have been dragging down industrial output across the EU. Sectors like automotive, consumer electronics, 5G technologies, industrial equipment, and medical devices are severely impacted. The drop comes despite a surge in manufacturers' order books and is seriously hampering the post-COVID economic recovery.
Environmental criminal offences are a growing concern for human health, the environment and the economy that is reflected in increasing levels of pollution, degradation of wildlife, a reduction in biodiversity and the disturbance of ecological balance within and outside the EU. This EESC opinion will cover the Commission's Proposal for the new Directive and the Communication that accompanied it.
Nota d'informazione: Improving environmental protection through criminal law
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) face challenges in the area of digitalisation and access to artificial intelligence, but this segment can take great advantage of the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence.
The main objective of the opinion is to propose concrete measures which can be easily implemented in order to avoid MSMEs being “left behind” from the transition to artificial intelligence. The main issues to be addressed are: the use of new technologies to offer innovative products and services and strengthen Europe’s capacity to invest in disruptive innovations; create closer links in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) between universities and public administration, on the one hand, and businesses, in particular SMEs and micro-enterprises, on the other; support the MSMEs in recruiting and ensuring skills development for their employees to cope with the technological changes brought about by AI; facilitate the access to EU funding.