Alarming! That’s what the 2019 UN Global Sustainable Development Report was for our planet. The report calls for more political involvement and more powerful governance in the race against climate change.
Antonio Guterres gave a serious address about the disastrous consequences for humans and ecosystems if countries do not change their economic systems by 2020. The UN secretary general called for more leadership and greater ambition if we are to make significant progress in dealing with this urgent crisis.
“Technology is on our side in the battle to address climate change”, Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General’s remarks on Climate Change, Sept 10th, 2018.
As part of the 7th Environment Action Program for the 2014-2020 period, the EU has launched a series of multi-scale funding programs, which aim, to boost innovation and creativity in the production of environmental technology.
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research & Innovation program ever. It will provide more than €80bn in funding eco-innovation projects for the 2014-2020 period. This fund is committed to turning the EU into a world-class science producer by tearing down barriers to innovation and bringing great ideas from the lab to the market.
The (European) Union of disagreements
The EU has been a pioneer in taking action against the fast-paced climate change with its focus on research and development, but creating the necessary and effective regulatory change is a complex issue, and gaining unanimous buy-in is a challenge.
The preservation of our planet is an issue that needs to be tackled at a global level, or at least at a regional one. In Europe, environment policy is a shared competence within the European Union. This means that the adoption of binding regulations is only possible if all member states agree. That being said, there are two scenarios that can boost environmental policy (1) a strong political will from all 27 states agreeing to ambitious goals based on a common vision, or (2) a change in the decision-making process that allows the pioneering states to lead environmental impact changes.
Our planet only needs three things: governance, leadership and ambition
The bitter truth is that the UN 2030 agenda is supposed to be the planet’s 15-year blueprint to saving the plan. However this was absent from the five scenarios in the “White Paper on the Future of Europe” released in 2017 but the EU is still the most advanced region in the world terms of environmental initiatives.
Can Europe now lead the way in an inclusive and global race against climate change? Only with governance, leadership, and ambition – this is the answer for the future of our planet.