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EU lagging behind on climate & biodiversity SDGs: Eurostat report

28 June 2019
by WWF -- last modified 28 June 2019

WWF is disappointed by the EU's insufficient progress on meeting the environmental Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


A new monitoring report released by Eurostat today has shown that while there is progress in some other areas, including health, poverty reduction, and jobs and growth, key environmental SDGs such as on terrestrial biodiversity, climate change and clean energy, and responsible consumption and production are lagging behind. In addition, there is insufficient data to assess the SDG on ocean health.

"Four years after the signature of the 2030 Agenda, this report clearly shows that the EU is still a long way from meeting the Sustainable Development Goals domestically, especially in the areas of nature loss and climate change. The EU has a responsibility to implement the SDGs into all of its policies and legislation, but this is clearly not happening. A piecemeal approach will not achieve it - instead, we need a concrete overarching plan for how the EU will meet all SDGs," said Ester Asin, Director of the WWF European Policy Office.

"The ecological crisis is deepening by the day and the EU will soon have to report back to the international community on the progress it has achieved on implementing the SDGs, so urgent action is required. The SDGs must be put at the very heart of the EU Strategic Agenda and the next EU budget, and guide all of the EU's actions in the coming legislative term."

A couple of weeks ago, a report published by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) had also highlighted an alarming lack of action by the European Commission, pointing to big gaps in reporting and monitoring on how the EU budget and policies contribute to sustainable development and achieving the SDGs.

The building blocks for meaningful sustainability reporting at EU level are largely not yet in place, the auditors said, and they warn that this is partly due to the absence of an overarching long-term strategy on sustainable development up to 2030.

The European Policy Office helps shape EU policies that impact on the European and global environment.