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Environment and climate change


Climate change and environmental degradation are an existential threat to Europe and the world. To overcome these challenges, the European Green Deal will transform the European Union (EU) into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, ensuring:

  • no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050;
  • economic growth decoupled from resource use;
  • no person and no place left behind.

It also aims to protect, conserve and enhance the EU's natural capital, and protect the health and well-being of citizens from environment-related risks and impacts.

Our health, our economy and our well-being depend on the state of the environment, which faces several serious challenges, not least those of climate change, unsustainable consumption and production, as well as various forms of pollution.

EU environmental strategies, such as the new circular economy action plan, the biodiversity strategy for 2030, the farm-to-fork strategy, the zero pollution action plan, and legislation protect natural habitats, keep air and water clean, ensure proper waste disposal, improve knowledge about toxic chemicals and help businesses move towards a sustainable economy where people live well, within the planetary boundaries.

The EU is fighting climate change and environmental degradation through ambitious policies at home and close cooperation with international partners. The EU formulates and implements climate policies and strategies, taking a leading role in international negotiations on climate. It is committed to ensuring the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement and implementing the EU emissions trading system.

The European climate law writes into law the goal set out in the European Green Deal for Europe’s economy and society to become climate neutral by 2050. The law also sets the intermediate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The EU seeks to ensure that climate concerns are taken on board in other policy areas (e.g. transport and energy) and also promotes low-carbon technologies and adaptation measures.

Sustainable development is a core principle of the Treaty on European Union and a priority objective for the EU's internal and external policies. The United Nations 2030 agenda and its sustainable development goals are a universal commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve a sustainable world by 2030 and beyond, with human well-being and a healthy planet at its core.