At the start of the German presidency of the European Union (July-December 2020), the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) released 10 demands which form the basis for the Green Tests to evaluate the presidency’s environmental performance.
The EEB is Europe’s largest network of environmental organisations.
The 10 asks were:
To gauge progress to date, the EEB is releasing its midterm evaluation of the presidency’s performance to date.
Patrick ten Brink, the EEB’s director of EU policy, said:
“The German presidency of the EU has engaged seriously with the twin crises of biodiversity and climate, despite having to deal with the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, but political realities and vested interests put the brakes on the needed transformative agenda, tarnishing the promise of the European Green Deal,”
“Unfortunately, the new proposed emissions targets are lower than what science demands to avert climate catastrophe and efforts to preserve biodiversity are being undermined by failure to reform the Common Agricultural Policy.”
The German presidency has achieved two major successes:
Not all is rosy on the German presidency’s report card. It scored poorly in two main areas:
For the remainder of its term, the German presidency must accelerate progress towards the European Green Deal, and particularly in the areas of funding action to combat global warming and biodiversity loss, as well as sustainable digitalisation.
“Germany promised a special focus on digitisation for sustainability. If the presidency manages to gain member state commitments to ethical digitalisation that serve people and planet, this will constitute a transformative step forward,” ten Brink emphasises. “It is essential that the EU budget and the COVID-19 recovery package both fully address the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the potential to build back better.”
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