EEA assessment ‘The European environment – state and outlook 2015’ published
This week the European Environment Agency (EEA) published its five-yearly assessment of Europe’s environment: ‘The European environment – state and outlook 2015’ (SOER 2015). The assessment analysis the current state and future prospects of Europe’s environment and will inform European environmental policy implementation over the coming five years to 2020.
SOER 2015 highlights the benefits that have been delivered by EU environmental policy, including better nature protection.
However, biodiversity continues to be eroded, with 60% of protected species assessments and 77% of habitat assessments recording an unfavourable conservation status. This means that Europe is not currently on track to meet its 2020 target of halting biodiversity loss. The current state of marine and coastal biodiversity is also of particular concern, with pressures from sea floor damage, pollution and invasive alien species.
The EEA’s assessment will also help to determine changes to existing policies that are required to achieve the EU’s 2050 vision of living well within the limits of the planet. Whilst full implementation of existing policies is essential, addressing the challenges facing Europe will require more ambitious policies. Approaches aimed at restoring ecosystems and adapting to climate change will also be necessary.
Commenting on the assessment, Dr Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director, said: “We have 35 years to ensure that we live on a sustainable planet by 2050. This may seem like a distant future, but to achieve our goal, we need to act now. We need our actions and investments to be even more ambitious and more coherent. Many of the decisions we make today will determine how we are going to live in 2050.”
You can explore SOER 2015 in full, including the Synthesis report (available in 13 languages), on the EEA website.