On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the European Environment Bureau conference “Europe at the Crossroads : The challenge of environmental sustainability’ held on 1st December in Brussels, the new Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella was there to deliver a keynote speech. In his speech, he highlighted that the 7th Environmental Action Programme tells us exactly what to do now and how to do it from now up to 2020 to achieve a sustainable economy and that we must use the tools we already have at our disposal to strengthen the smart and sustainable pillars of the EU2020 Strategy.
One of the points he also stressed out is that there shouldn’t be a choice between economic growth and environmental protection, but “they must co-exist”.
Following the Rio+20 Summit he also outlined how the EU would meet the UN post-2015 agenda. According to Vella, work should be done so that we make sure that the EU is not only in a position to engage but also to lead internationally by developing a clear, ambitious and coherent agenda towards achieving our Sustainable Development Goals. The Commissioner pointed out the three following aspects of this agenda:
- The agenda will have to be universal and must apply to all countries, from developing to developed. No exception – we all need to engage and contribute.
- It will have to address sustainable development by integrating and not only balancing the economic, environmental and social dimensions.
- We must have a transformative agenda which embraces change. We are not after growth, but after a sustainable growth – whether blue or green! We must promote a resource efficiency economy addressing not only the production side, but also the consumption side.
Do not miss the opportunity to read the whole speech!!