2015, a pivotal year for Europe and the environment
The year ahead will be a pivotal one for Europe and globally, both for our climate and the environment. At the forefront is the new global, ambitious climate agreement that will come out of Paris in December. Prior to that, countries across the world will adopt the Sustainable Development Goals making environmental sustainability a key element for poverty eradication. A discussion about the way we will halt the dramatic loss of biodiversity in Europe by 2020 will also take place in the coming months.
This will be a crucial year for WWF too, together with the whole environmental, social and development movement. We will be lobbying, studying, campaigning, protesting, calling for an important shift towards a more equitable, sustainable, and safer way of living on our finite planet. And this first issue of WWF EPO’s N(EU)ws is part of this effort.
Protecting the environment is what 95% of Europeans confirm is important for them personally. 8 out of 10 also believe that an economy that uses fewer natural resources and emits less greenhouse gasses is the way to exit the current financial and economic crisis. Myths that green policies create bureaucratic burdens and stifle economic growth must be strongly dispelled, because environmental laws account for only less than 1% of red tape. Therefore an urgent reprioritisation is needed to regain people’s trust in the EU, moving away from a narrow, outdated agenda which largely fails to recognise social and environmental values.
To show that policies and the way we live both have an impact the planet, WWF has prepared an Eco-guide for 2015. Find out how by changing the way we travel, work, eat, heat our house, plan our holidays to the way we manage our money, we can reduce our impact on the environment. We hope you will engage in some of the actions it proposes. Because by taking action, you can inspire other to do the same.
By Tony Long, Director, WWF European Policy Office