Thursday, 22 August 2019

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Reaching a sustainable Europe by 2030

Sustainable Europe Conference, European Commission

The current college of European Commissioners is shortly coming to an end this autumn and Europe faces many challenges where sustainability and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 must remain at the core of the EU mandates and roadmaps.

As a result, the EU is holding a series of conferences in Brussels this week on how to foster a change of perspective, turn risks into opportunities and rethink some of the key systems that underpin the way we live and work.

"The EU is a key partner to achieve the 2030 SDGs and beyond that," UN Secretary-General António Guterres shared through a video message at today’s European Commission High-Level Conference on ‘Sustainable Europe 2030 – From Goals to Delivery’.

The recent publication of the European Commission Reflection Paper ‘Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030’, is gathering leading experts from around the world to discuss how to best translate the United Nations’ SDGs at the European level into concrete measures with an increased role of education and reskilling of citizens to build a more sustainable Europe.

While the EU has made progress towards almost all goals, 20% of total food is still lost or wasted which costs 143 billion Euros and 43 million people cannot afford a quality meal every second day.

"Sustainable development is not an option, it's a necessity. The hard work is turning the commitments into concrete actions. We need to collectively use the SDGs as a roadmap to 2030,” underlined Frans Timmermans, the European Commission First Vice-President.

Following today’s High-Level Conference, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) will discuss its opinion on "Sustainable Europe by 2030: Follow-up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, ecological transition and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change" which focuses on the transition towards a low-carbon, climate-neutral, resource-efficient and biodiverse Europe. It will then hold talks on what the implementation of the SDGs should mean at local and regional level as well as the various methodologies and tools available to implement the SDGs at those levels.

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