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The time for reflection is up! Concrete action now needed to meet SDGs

30 January 2019
by WWF -- last modified 30 January 2019

Today, the European Commission published its long-awaited reflection paper "Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030", which outlines its strategy for delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.


This paper is a welcome recognition that EU needs to considerably step up its efforts to fully live up to its international commitments and that in doing so it will bring a wealth of benefits for Europe and its citizens.

The paper is a clear acknowledgement that Europe's disproportional consumption of the world's resources pushes the planet's boundaries to its limits and that this cannot continue if we want to ensure well-being for all within the limits of the planet.

"People and planet cannot wait – we must start the transition to sustainable development right now. All across Europe, this transition is already happening at grassroots level, and now is the time for the EU to lead on scaling it up" said Ester Asin, Director of WWF European Policy Office, and a member of the European Commission's High Level Expert Panel on SDGs. "We now need concrete actions to translate SDGs into EU policies and assign clear responsibility for delivery within EU structures. Part of the plan should include reducing EU's considerable environmental footprint because at its current rate, EU consumption is bleeding our planet dry."

SDG implementation at EU level must be a key priority strategic objective of the Council and the new Commission. This also includes a comprehensive strategy and continued mainstreaming of climate and biodiversity through all EU policy areas to improve policy coherence. EU leaders have already called for a clear strategy for implementing the SDGs, so they must now endorse this option in their deliberations on what kind of Europe we want to see in the future.

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