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Proposal for a new EU Environment Action Programme to 2020

Spatial dimension:

PRIORITY OBJECTIVE 8: In order to enhance the sustainability of EU cities, the programme shall ensure that by 2020:

  1. A majority of cities in the EU are implementing policies for sustainable urban planning and design.

This requires, in particular:

  1. Defining and agreeing a set of criteria to assess the environmental performance of cities, taking into account economic and social impacts.
  2. Ensuring that cities have information about and access to financing for measures to improve urban sustainability.






PRIORITY OBJECTIVE 9: In order to increase the EU’s effectiveness in addressing regional and global environmental and climate challenges, the programme shall ensure that by 2020:

  1. The outcomes of Rio+20 are fully integrated into the EU’s external policies and the EU is contributing effectively to global efforts to implement agreed commitments, including those under the Rio conventions.
  2. The EU is providing effective support to national, regional and international efforts to address environment and climate challenges and to ensure sustainable development.
  3. The impact of consumption in the EU on the environment beyond its borders is reduced.

This requires, in particular:

  1. Working towards the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals that: a) address priority areas of an inclusive green economy and wider sustainable development objectives, such as energy, water, food security, oceans and sustainable consumption and production, as well as cross-cutting issues such as equity, social inclusion, decent work, rule of law and good governance; b) are universally applicable, covering all three areas of sustainable development; c) are assessed and accompanied by targets and indicators, and d) are coherent and integrated with the post-2015 development framework, and supportive of climate actions.
  2. Working towards a more effective UN structure for sustainable development through strengthening UNEP in line with the outcome of Rio+20, while continuing to strive for an upgrade of UNEP's status to that of UN Agency, and supporting ongoing efforts to enhance synergies between Multilateral Environmental Agreements;
  3. Strengthening the impact of various sources of funding, including taxation and domestic resource mobilisation, private investment, new and innovative sources, and creating options for using development aid to leverage these other sources of financing as part of the sustainable development financing strategy established in Rio, as well as in the EU’s own policies, including international commitments on climate and biodiversity finance.
  4. Engaging with partner countries in a more strategic way. This should involve focusing cooperation: 1) with strategic partners on the promotion of best practice in domestic environment policy and legislation and convergence in multilateral environmental negotiations; 2) with countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy on gradual approximation with key EU environment and climate policy and legislation and on strengthening cooperation to address regional environmental and climate challenges; 3) with developing countries to support their efforts to protect the environment, fight climate change and reduce natural disasters, and implement international environmental commitments as a contribution to poverty reduction and sustainable development.
  5. Engaging in multilateral environmental processes, including the UNFCCC, CBD and the chemicals-related conventions, as well as other relevant fora, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization, in a more consistent, proactive and effective way with a view to ensuring that commitments for 2020 are met at EU and global level, and to agree on international action to be taken beyond 2020.
  6. Ratifying all key multilateral environmental agreements well before 2020.
  7. Assessing the environmental impact, in a global context, of EU consumption of food and non-food commodities and possible related responses.


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