I. EEB reaction to the UK referendum
Jeremy Wates, EEB Secretary General: â€œThis is bad news for the UK, Europe and the environment. All evidence shows that the EU has brought many environmental benefits for citizens and nature across Europe. It is tragic that these advantages failed to help convince a majority of people in the UK to vote remain. It is uncertain exactly what will happen next. However, it is clear that the calls by UK Prime Minister David Cameron for EU reform based on haphazardly slashing red tape did not influence the debate. Instead of giving in to short-term demands, it should now be clear to the European Commission, MEPs and Member States that another way forward is needed to create a Europe that listens to its citizens and that is fit to tackle the challenges of the twenty-first century, not least by stepping up EU measures to address climate change, resource depletion and ecosystem collapse.â€
II. Successful vote on the Energy Efficiency Directive: Strengthening the Energy Efficiency Directive with a clear binding energy efficiency target of 40% for 2030.
NGOs has welcomed successful vote on the Energy Efficiency Directiveâ€™s implementation report
that took place in the European Parliamentâ€™s plenary session. The implementation report is the European Parliamentâ€™s assessment of the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU). The report points out the changes the European Commission should include in the upcoming EED revision proposal expected for October 2016, together with the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). The Parliamentâ€™s vote leads to commitment to strengthen the Energy Efficiency Directive with a clear binding energy efficiency target of 40% for 2030. The EP made it clear that only full implementation of this law, without any loopholes, will enable Europe to fully tap cost-effective, energy efficiency potential.
III. Time for EU to walk the talk on 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda
SDG Watch Europe, an alliance of 70 organisations including the European Environmental Bureau
(EEB) and Plan International, has written to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker calling for him to adopt, as a matter of urgency, an overarching strategy to guide implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
The key messages from the letter
Not only does an overarching strategy need to address integration and coherence between the EUâ€™s domestic and external affairs, it also needs to do so across policy areas by finding a means to break down the silos that continue to exist between and within DGs and the sectors they represent. The 2030 Agenda was designed with the objective of addressing the interlinkages and interdependencies that underpin todayâ€™s global challenges and therefore calls for a whole-of-government approach which puts the well-being of people and planet at its core, with economic and financial systems to support them.
The EU strategy must also address coherence between national and EU level. Many Member States are well underway with putting in place procedures and plans to implement the 2030 Agenda. However, there will come a point when delay at EU level creates a bottleneck for progress at Member State level. The need for an overarching strategy is particularly acute in areas where the EU has shared competence with the Member States.
SDG Watch Europe therefore calls on President Juncker to set out, as a matter of the greatest urgency, how the EU will respond with clarity and conviction to the challenge of this ambitious, universal Agenda, and to commit to developing an integrated, overarching strategy covering internal and external affairs.
Given the openness of the process to develop the 2030 Agenda, the EU should consult with civil society in drawing up its implementation strategy, as recommended by the European Parliament in its resolution of 12 May. SDG Watch Europe would therefore like to see the launch of a transparent and inclusive public consultation on the implementation of the whole 2030 Agenda.