Global Sustainability

Alongside our work on environmental democracy through the Aarhus Convention and our activities on the enforcement of existing environmental legislation, the EEB also works on governance innovation and environmental justice at both the grass roots and the policymaking level.

The Europe has historically been and currently remains responsible for a disproportionately high share of global environmental destruction and resource consumption. Tackling Europe’s excessive ecological footprint is therefore paramount.

However, in addition, the EU needs to play a leadership role in the global and inter-regional debates on environment and sustainability. While Europe has been in forefront of creating environmental problems, it has also been in the forefront of finding solutions, even if it falls a long way short of genuine sustainability.

The countries in Eastern Europe that aspire to one day join the European Union will also need to approximate their environmental policies to those of the EU. Here the EEB has and will continue to work with EEB member organizations and other environmental NGOs in those countries to support them in raising awareness of the EU’s environmental acquis and pushing their governments to adopt stronger environmental policies.


For complementary reasons, the EEB also needs to engage in such forums, both to ensure that the role played by the EU and its Member States is a constructive one and to bring in a European civil society perspective. Specific processes where the EEB has been and will continue to be active include those of the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and UNEP, in both cases at global and regional level, as well as those of the OECD.

By joining forces with academics and activists in the field, in writing aspirational policy recommendations and networking with knowledgeable policy innovators in and out the EU, we aim to look beyond the current policy agenda and set out the contours of a paradigm shift.

In general we promote the idea of achieving a fair share of resource- and energy use both to tackle the climate and environmental problems facing the world and social inequalities.

We push decision makers at the level of the EU and the UN to close the gap between over- and under-consumption. For this to be achieved in Europe, we need to decrease our material footprint by 80% by 2050.

The EEB believes that we therefore need to move well away from business-as-usual and agree an EU strategy that will bring about deep seated changes in our economic and financial systems. This should include a new trading system that rejects big corporate-friendly deals such as the proposed CETA agreement between the EU and Canada. Instead, it should reflect the climate and environmental challenges the world is facing, help to create local jobs, and offer an intelligent and rational answer to citizens.

0 %

projected increase of employment over a 10y period thanks to CETA (EP)

240000 jobs

Possible loss by CETA (EJOLT)