What the Commission is doing

The current environment action programme guides European environment policy up to 2020. It sets out a vision of where the EU should be by 2050. This includes living in an environment where nothing is wasted, natural resources are managed sustainably, and biodiversity is protected, valued and restored. The programme concentrates action in three key areas:

  • protecting, conserving and enhancing the EU's natural capital
  • turning the EU into a resource-efficient, green, and competitive low-carbon economy
  • safeguarding EU citizens from environment-related pressures and risks to health and wellbeing

Sustainable development is an overarching objective for the EU, which is committed to:

  • a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment
  • protecting human health; prudent and rational utilisation of natural resources; promoting measures at international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems
  • making Europe's cities more sustainable
  • helping the EU address international environmental and climate challenges more effectively