The European Commission today adopted a proposal for a new Environment Action Programme, which will provide an overarching framework for EU environment and climate policy up to 2020. The proposal aims to enhance Europe's ecological resilience and transform the EU into an inclusive and sustainable green economy. Accelerating the transition to the low-carbon economy is one of the three thematic priorities of the programme. The results should stimulate sustainable growth, create new jobs and make Europe a better and healthier place to live.
Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: "We cannot wait until the economic crisis is over before we tackle the resources, environmental and climate crises. We must address all these at the same time and therefore include climate and environmental concerns into all our policies. This strategy gives businesses and politicians the long-term policy framework we very much need for making the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon society in Europe."
The seventh Environment Action Programme aims to bring about full implementation of the Climate and energy package by 2020, including further measures to meet the energy efficiency target. The programme also underlines the need to prepare a 2030 policy framework and to integrate climate change in all EU policies.
Adaptation to climate change is one of the programme's key features, as it is linked to many other issues on the environmental agenda such as sustainable land use, urban environment, sustainable food, protecting water and the marine environment. The Commission is due to adopt an EU Strategy for Adaptation in spring 2013.
The EU's international efforts to close the gap between current emission reduction pledges and what is needed to remain on an emission pathway compatible with the 2 degrees target are also addressed in the programme.