Green house gas mitigation and headline targets of Europe 2020 strategy

Climate change is considered as one of the biggest challenges of XXI century and global action is needed to mitigate greenhouse gases (GHG) and adapt to changing water levels and temperatures, which affect food supply and ecosystem integrity. Climate change will have significant economic and social impacts in many regions of EU and sectors like agriculture is considered to bear greater adverse affects. Less developed regions and certain sections of society (the elderly and/or low-income households) are expected to suffer more from climate change. Climate change policy of EU, adopted in December 2008, includes ambitious targets for 2020. The policy is focused on a sustainable future with an energy-efficient economy by (i) cutting greenhouse gases by 20% (30% if international agreement is reached), (ii) reducing energy consumption by 20% through increased energy efficiency and iii) meeting 20% of energy needs from renewable sources. In the frame of the headline targets of Europe 2020 Strategy, this paper discusses most important greenhouse gas-emitting activities in agriculture, emphasizes the importance structural changes through the modernisation of infrastructure particularly in developing regions of EU and calls for enhancing the competitiveness of economy to promote energy efficiency.

Development of the European Union’s environmental policy and its measures for climate protection – a review

The negative impacts of human activities on the environment and nature can be felt worldwide. Thus there is a growing focus on measurements that keep sustainability in mind. As one of the main pioneers of environmental protection and sustainability efforts, these aspects are more and more prevalent in the current environmental policy of the European Union (EU). In this review article, the development of the environmental policy of the EU is presented. After listing the main milestones, the role of the EU in the area of environmental protection, the frameworks built around the goals and the roles of the institutions are discussed. Then – with an international detour – the details of the Paris Agreement about climate change and the state of the 20/20/20 commitments are summarised. In the remaining parts of the article, the focus is on the climate protection goals of the EU for the next three decades, the expected future directions, and the agenda of the von der Leyen Commission concerning climate protection. An important step and tool for achieving the goals set until 2050 is to incorporate climate and environmental protection elements to the 2021-2027 budget of the EU. In order to achieve the expected effects, it is crucial to develop the right tools of the environmental policy, to form a widespread cooperation, to raise awareness, and incentivise and support the innovative solutions in the sustainability area.