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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

EU seeks focus on environment in the post-MDG debate

Two EU Commissioners put strong emphasis on environmental issues at a Brussels round-table discussion on proposed measures to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), held in the European Commission on 9 July, EurActiv reports.
The event was a follow up of the recently published report of the high-level panel appointed by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon to develop a global vision after the expiry of the millennium development goals (MDGs) in 2015.
Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, who is one of the 27 “eminent personalities” who authored the report, said the high-level panel had took a more ambitious approach than just focusing on "the unfinished business” of present MDGs. But the main focus of his statement was on environmental issues. “If we don’t deal with environmental sustainability, if we don’t deal with climate change, it will be impossible to eliminate poverty, and it will be the poorest countries which will suffer the most,” Piebalgs said. States must put sustainable development at the core. Production and consumption must become sustainable, he argued.
EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik added that the report fails to mention the economic transformation needed to reach a sustainable consumption, and any targets for the quality of oceans and the air.
EU’s general position on the overarching post-2015 agenda, as reflected in Council Conclusions, is that drivers for transforming the economy into a green one need to be "explicitly reflected” in the new targets.
Piebalgs said that the next steps following the report will include prepartions for the United Nations “Special Event” to follow up on efforts made towards achieving the MDGs (New York, September 2013) and agree steps for post-2015 MDGs.

Source: EurActiv