Climate, Environment & Energy

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Biodiversity and Nature are essential for all life on the planet. Biodiversity plays a critical role for sustainable development and human well-being. Biodiversity can also reinforce peace when putting in place inclusive management of natural resources, respecting indigenous rights, combatting wildlife trafficking or promoting international dialogue around shared resources. In one of his first speeches as EU High Representative, Josep Borrell had stressed that "Today, land and natural resources management is one of the most critical challenges the world is facing."

The Arctic region sits at the crossroads of major trends that contribute to reshaping the foreign policies of the European Union, Norway and Canada: it is home to significant geopolitical rivalries expressed by its neighbouring powers, and it also witnesses dramatic environmental and socio-economic changes to its structure and ecosystem. What common views do Europeans and Canadians share about these global challenges? How can they work together towards addressing them? What form should this multilateral cooperation take?

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Nations around the world gathered virtually for the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations. This historical gathering comes at a time when we are facing global challenges and global responses are difficult to find. The EU calls for a reform of multilateralism by design and not by destruction: “We must revitalize the system, not abandon it. So, this week and beyond, we will uphold the spirit of the UNGA and defend multilateralism, which all countries so badly need. A world without the UN would endanger us all.” stated High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell.

The Council today authorised the Commission to endorse, on behalf of the EU, the "Leaders' Pledge for Nature", in order to send a united signal to step up global ambition for biodiversity. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is thereby authorised to endorse the pledge at an UN event to be held virtually on 28 September 2020 in the context of the UN Summit on Biodiversity.

The European Commission presented today its plan to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This level of ambition for the next decade will put the EU on a balanced pathway to reaching climate neutrality by 2050. The new target is based on a comprehensive Impact Assessment of the social, economic and environmental impacts. The Assessment demonstrates that this course of action is realistic and feasible. This raised ambition also underlines the EU’s continued global leadership, ahead of the next UN climate conference (COP26).

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today mapped out in her first annual State of the Union address, a path for the European Union to overcome the fragility laid bare by the coronavirus crisis and build a union of vitality.

09/09/2020 - These days, there is much talk about "Global Europe": how to make the Union a truly global player in a world marked by the strategic rivalry between the US and China, the questioning of multilateralism plus health and environmental crises. You will find here a synthesis of my views, as discussed recently with my fellow Commissioners.

Clean air is essential to our health and to the environment. Since the industrial revolution, the quality of the air we breathe has deteriorated considerably. The human toll for poor air quality is worse than for road traffic accidents. Air pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to human health: around 6,5 million premature deaths across the world are due to air pollution. Particularly in developing countries, air pollution disproportionately affects women, children and old people.

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