The current EU environment and climate change policy objectives are set out in the Seventh Environmental Action Programme, which guides EU environment policy until 2020. The objectives are to protect, conserve and enhance the European Union's natural capital; turn the European Union into a resource-efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy; and safeguard the European Union's citizens from environment-related pressures and risks to health and well-being.
Recent initiatives include overhauling the European Union's current environmental legislative framework 'to make it fit for purpose' and further encouraging 'Green Growth' to turn the European Union into a resource-efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy. The European Commission also recently announced a Plastics Strategy and proposed new rules banning or reducing consumption of single-use plastics. The European Union is committed to its 2030 targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent and to improve energy efficiency by 27 per cent.
In the wake of the Paris Agreement and reflecting the European Union's prominent role in combating climate change impact, the political focus remains on environmental sustainability and tackling climate change. This is further reflected in the Commission's new long-term strategy to reach a climate-neutral economy by 2050. The importance of reducing CO2 emissions by 2030 was underscored by the President of the European Commission in his 2018 State of the Union Address. The proposed EU budget for the period 2021 to 2027 also foresees increased funding to support environment and climate action.
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Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. This article was first published in February 2019. For further information please visit: www.TheLawReviews.co.uk.
Charlotte Van Haute (Associate, Brussels) and Vanessa Kempeneers (Knowledge Resources Manager, Brussels) assisted in the development of this publication.
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