A Safer, more Competitive and Responsible EU – WWF calls for a European Sustainability Pact ahead of EU elections

Posted on October, 25 2018

In its election manifesto, WWF calls for a European Sustainability Pact for a safer, more competitive and responsible EU.
WWF has urged election candidates and future EU leaders to put people’s wellbeing in a thriving environment at the centre of their thinking as they shape the future of the EU and its population. In its election manifesto launched today, the organisation - with more than 3.2 million supporters in Europe – calls for a European Sustainability Pact for a safer, more competitive and responsible EU.

Themes such as migration, unemployment and security are the likely focus of the upcoming EU election debates, reflecting some of the key concerns of European citizens. However, recent polls have shown that voters are just as worried about the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation [1], and these challenges are indeed closely linked to the future stability and security of our societies. The extreme weather events witnessed this summer, along with the recent publication of the IPCC report on the impacts of climate change [2], are now painting a clear picture of the future we face.

“Politicians must face a simple truth: A thriving future for Europe and its citizens is not possible on a depleted planet. Rising sea levels, extreme weather events, conflicts over ever scarcer natural resources and health concerns linked to pollution all pose challenges to the EU’s current political agenda. Only integrated solutions will be able to address these,” said Ester Asin, Director at WWF European Policy Office. “The EU elections offer the opportunity to formulate a coherent response. Our proposals for a ‘European Sustainability Pact for a Safer, more Competitive and Responsible EU’ not only outline the threats posed by climate change and environmental degradation, but also the opportunities ahead for Europe’s safety, competitiveness and global reputation. These can be unlocked by coherent EU climate and environment action,” she continued.  

In its call for action, WWF emphasises that continued economic and political stability, job creation and global relevance of the EU will largely depend on boosting investment in the sustainable blue and green economy sectors, which will be at the heart of tomorrow’s economy. Political representatives will also need to combat climate change and halt environmental degradation through ambitious EU standards and laws, if they are serious about improving European and global safety.

On an institutional level, WWF is calling for a European Commission Vice-President for Climate Action and Natural Resources to oversee the transition to a truly sustainable Europe and ensure policy coherence, as well as for improvements to the European Parliament’s working methods to better integrate environmental considerations in key EU policies.

These and others are the recommendations are at the heart of the four goals WWF is setting out for EU action in the coming years [3].
For more information please contact:
Tycho Vandermaesen, Head of Public Affairs, WWF European Policy Office
+32 498 72 56 41
Camille Roux, EU Elections Assistant, WWF European Policy Office
+32 486 52 52 07
Notes to the editors:
[1] Eurobarometer (EP/EB 89.2). Democracy on the move: One year to go to the European elections - survey carried out in all 28 Member States of the European Union, from 11 until 22 April 2018, p. 39.

[2] http://www.wwf.eu/?uNewsID=336173

[3] The 4 goals are:
  • Improve European and global safety and wellbeing by combatting against climate change and environmental degradation;
  • Increase the competitiveness and job potential of European industries by boosting investments in sustainable blue and green sectors which will be at the heart of tomorrow’s economy;
  •  Strengthen Europe’s international position and work towards its strategic independence by setting and implementing ambitious EU sustainable standards, promoting these standards outside of the EU and taking responsibility for our footprint globally
  • Improve EU governance in the European Parliament and Commission to support the sustainable transition to a secure, competitive and responsible EU
Politicians must face a simple truth: A thriving future for Europe and its citizens is not possible on a depleted planet.
© © Staffan Widstrand / WWF