The European Union’s latest Eurostat report has revealed that the bloc has made “significant” progress in certain areas, but only moderate steps in others, notably when it comes to the climate and the environment.
Eurostat, the European Union’s (EU) official statistical agency, published a rather wordily titled report on 24th May – “Sustainable development in the European Union: Monitoring report on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context, 2023 edition” – which offers insight into the bloc’s progress with regards to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The key findings showed that, over the last five years, many of the EU’s goals are being advanced upon, but there are still important areas where improvements can be made.
SOLID PROGRESS ON SOME FRONTS
There are specific SDGs in which the EU has excelled, such as ensuring decent job and economic growth as highlighted by the bloc’s employment levels reaching record highs of 74.6% in 2022 as well as record low unemployment.
Significant leaps forward were also made toward reducing poverty, improving gender equality, providing quality education and fostering personal security as well as improving access to justice and trust in institutions.
There were also decent results in the areas of responsible consumption, making cities and communities more sustainable, access to clean water and sanitation, affordable clean energy supplies and marine protections.
Areas in which work still needs to be done include stronger climate action measures, improvements to biodiversity protections on land and global partnerships.
As member states gear up for more ambitious environmental targets, they will also need to ramp up commitment levels and efforts. Many have implemented solid measures to achieve 2030 sustainability goals, notably via the Fit for 55 package, which pertains to the legal obligations of reaching the climate goal of reducing EU emissions by at least 55% by 2030, but there is still much more to be done if this is to become a reality.
Fragile land-based ecosystems are another hot topic and the EU is making motions to reverse the trend of declining bird and butterfly populations as well as create even more protected areas.
As for energy, the bloc is working on creating more renewable energy outlets as well as raising the bar on energy efficiency.
For the full report, please click here.
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