Procedure : 2017/2009(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0239/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0239/2017

Debates :

PV 05/07/2017 - 14
CRE 05/07/2017 - 14

Votes :

PV 06/07/2017 - 11.10
CRE 06/07/2017 - 11.10

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0315

REPORT     
PDF 506kWORD 126k
27 June 2017
PE 601.046v02-00 A8-0239/2017

on EU action for sustainability

(2017/2009(INI))

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

Rapporteur: Seb Dance

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on EU action for sustainability

(2017/2009(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the United Nations resolution on ‘Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015 in New York(1),

–  having regard to the Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris on 12 December 2015 (the Paris Agreement),

  having regard to Articles 3(3) and (5) of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Article 7 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which reaffirms that the EU ‘shall ensure consistency between its policies and activities, taking all of its objectives into account’, and to Article 11 of TFEU,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 22 November 2016, ‘Next steps for a sustainable European future - European action for sustainability’ (COM(2016)0739),

–  having regard to the General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 entitled ‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’(2),

  having regard to the European Environment Agency (EEA) Report No 30/2016: the Environmental indicator report 2016,

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 May 2016 on the follow-up to and review of the 2030 Agenda(3),

  having regard to the Strategic Note of the Commission’s European Political Strategy Centre of 20 July 2016 entitled ‘Sustainability Now! A European Voice for Sustainability’(4),

–  having regard to the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020(5), to its mid-term-review(6) and to the European Parliament resolution on the mid-term review of 2 February 2016(7),

  having regard to the reports of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) International Resource Panel entitled: ‘Policy Coherence of the Sustainable Development Goals’ (2015), ‘Global Material Flows and Resource Productivity’ (2016) and ‘Resource Efficiency: Potential and Economic Implications’ (2017),

  having regard to the Joint communication of 10 November 2016 on ‘International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans’ (JOIN(2016)0049),

  having regard to the Habitat III New Urban Agenda Agreement adopted in Quito on 20 October 2016,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinions of the Committee on Development, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the Committee on Culture and Education (A8-0239/2017),

A.  whereas the EU and its Member States have adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (hereinafter ‘the 2030 Agenda’), including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

B.  whereas future economic growth will only be possible by fully respecting the planetary boundaries in order to ensure a life of dignity for all;

C.  whereas the 2030 Agenda has a transformational potential and sets out universal, ambitious, comprehensive, indivisible and interlinked goals, aimed at eradicating poverty, fighting discrimination, and promoting prosperity, environmental responsibility, social inclusion and respect for human rights, and strengthening peace and security; whereas these goals require immediate action with a view to full and effective implementation;

D.  whereas the 17 SDGs and 169 underlying targets touch on all aspects of the Union’s policy;

E.  whereas the Commission has not yet established a comprehensive strategy to implement the 2030 Agenda encompassing internal and external policy areas with a detailed timeline up to 2030, as requested by the European Parliament in its resolution on the follow-up to and review of the agenda(8), and has not fully taken up a general coordination role for the actions taken at national level; whereas an effective implementation strategy and a monitoring and review mechanism are essential in order to achieve the SDGs;

F.  whereas many of the SDGs directly concern the powers of the EU in addition to the national, regional and local authorities and their implementation therefore requires a true multi-level governance approach with an active and broad-based civil society engagement;

G.  whereas climate change is not a stand-alone environmental issue but presents, according to the UN(9), one of the greatest challenges of our time and poses a serious threat to sustainable development, and its widespread, unprecedented impacts place a disproportionate burden on the poorest and most vulnerable and increase inequality between and within countries; whereas urgent action to combat climate change is integral to the successful implementation of the SDGs;

H.  Whereas the Europe 2020 climate change and energy sustainability targets are: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 20 %, to meet 20 % of EU energy demand with renewables, and to increase energy efficiency by 20 %; whereas the EU is committed to a reduction in domestic GHG emissions of at least 40 % by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, subject to a ratchet-up mechanism under the Paris Agreement; whereas Parliament has called for a binding 2030 energy efficiency target of 40 % and a binding renewable energy sources (RES) target of at least 30 %, and stresses that such targets should be implemented by means of individual national targets;

I.  Whereas the EU and its Member States are all signatories to the Paris Agreement, and as such are committed to working with other countries to limit the increase in global warming to well below 2°C, and to pursue efforts to further limit it to 1.5°C and therefore to attempt to limit the worst risks of climate change, which undermine the ability to achieve sustainable development;

J.  whereas healthy seas and oceans are essential to support abundant biodiversity, and provide food security and sustainable livelihoods;

K.  whereas the Commission is required, under the 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP), to assess the environmental impact, in a global context, of Union consumption of food and non-food commodities;

L.  whereas any appraisal of the current and future effectiveness of the SDG agenda in Europe should not only speak to the current successes, but also look to future efforts and schemes, and should also be based on a thorough assessment of the gaps between the EU’s policies and the SDGs, including areas where the EU does not meet the SDG targets, weak implementation of current policies and potential contradictions between policy areas;

M.  whereas, according to the EEA, it is highly likely that 11 of the 30 priority objectives of the EAP will not be achieved by the 2020 deadline;

N.  whereas the financing of the SDGs poses an enormous challenge which demands a strong and global partnership and the use of all forms of financing (from domestic, international, public, private and innovative sources), as well as non-financial means; whereas private financing can complement, but not substitute public funding;

O.  whereas effective mobilisation of domestic resources is an indispensable factor in achieving the objectives of the 2030 Agenda; whereas developing countries are particularly affected by corporate tax evasion and tax avoidance;

P.  whereas promoting sustainable development requires resilience, which should be fostered by means of a multifaceted approach to the EU’s external action and by upholding the principle of policy coherence for development; whereas the Member States’ and EU’s policies have both intended and unintended effects on developing countries, and the SDGs constitute a unique opportunity to achieve more coherence and fairer policies towards developing countries;

Q.  whereas international trade can be a powerful driver of development and economic growth and a large share of EU imports comes from developing countries; whereas the 2030 Agenda acknowledges trade as a means of achieving the SDGs;

R.  whereas addressing the challenge of migration and the demands of an increasing global population is essential for achieving sustainable development; whereas the 2030 Agenda emphasises the role of migration as a potential driver of development; whereas Article 208 of TFEU establishes the eradication of poverty as the primary objective of EU development policies;

1.  Takes note of the Commission communication on European action for sustainability, which maps existing policy initiatives and instruments at European level and serves as a reaction to the 2030 Agenda; stresses, however, the necessity of a comprehensive assessment, including policy gaps and trends, inconsistencies and implementation deficiencies as well as the potential co-benefits and synergies, of all existing EU policies and legislation in all sectors; underlines the need for coordinated action for this assessment at both European and Member State levels; calls, therefore, on the Commission, on the Council, in all its formations, and on the EU agencies and bodies, to pursue this work without delay;

2.  Highlights that the aim of the 2030 Agenda is to achieve greater well-being for all and that the three equal pillars of sustainable development, namely social, environmental and economic development, are essential for achieving the SDGs; underlines the fact that sustainable development is a fundamental objective of the Union as laid down in Article 3(3) of TEU and should play a central role in the debate on the future of Europe;

3.  Welcomes the Commission’s commitment to mainstreaming SDGs into all EU policies and initiatives, based on the principles of universality and integration; calls on the Commission to develop, without delay, a comprehensive short-, medium-, and long-term coherent, coordinated and overarching framework strategy on the implementation of the 17 SDGs and their 169 targets in the EU, recognising the inter-linkages and parity of the different SDGs by taking a multi-level governance and cross-sectoral approach; underlines, furthermore, the necessity of integrating all aspects of the 2030 Agenda into the European Semester and of ensuring Parliament’s complete involvement in the process; calls on the First Vice-President, who has cross-cutting responsibility for sustainable development, to take a lead on this; stresses the fact that the EU and its Member States have made a commitment to fully implementing all SDGs and targets, both in practice and in spirit;

4.  Recalls the importance of the underlying principle of the 2030 Agenda of ‘leaving no one behind’; asks the Commission and the Member States to take strong action in addressing inequalities within and between countries, as these magnify the impact of other global challenges and hinder progress on sustainable development; asks the Commission and the Member States to promote research and data disaggregation in their policies in order to ensure that the most vulnerable and marginalised are included and prioritised;

5.  Welcomes the Commission’s commitment to mainstreaming the SDGs into its Better Regulation agenda and underlines the potential of using the Better Regulation tools strategically in order to evaluate EU policy coherence with regard to the 2030 Agenda; calls on the Commission to establish an SDG check of all new policies and legislation and to ensure full policy coherence in the implementation of the SDGs, while promoting synergies, gaining co-benefits and avoiding trade-offs, both at European and Member State levels; underlines the need to include sustainable development as an integrated part of the overarching framework of impact assessments, not as a separate impact assessment as is currently the case according to the Commission’s Better Regulation toolbox; calls for the tools designed to measure and quantify medium- and long-term environmental outcomes in impact assessments to be improved; calls on the Commission, furthermore, to ensure that evaluations and fitness checks carried out within the framework of the Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) programme assess whether certain policies or legislation contribute to the ambitious implementation of the SDGs or actually hinder it; calls for the clear identification and differentiation of the governance level at which the targets should be implemented, while stressing that the principle of subsidiarity should be respected; calls for the establishment of clear and coherent sustainable development pathways at national and, if necessary, subnational or local levels for those Member States which have not done so already; stresses that the Commission should provide guidance for this process in order to ensure a harmonised format;

6.  Strongly urges the Commission to adhere to the governance agenda agreed upon in the Rio Declaration and in the 2030 Agenda, as well as in the 2002 Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and Rio+20 Outcome Document of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development;

7.  Considers that the Commission should encourage the Member States to promote the establishment or enhancement of sustainable development councils at national level, including at local level; and to enhance the participation and effective engagement of civil society and other relevant stakeholders in the relevant international forums and, in this regard, promote transparency and broad public participation and partnerships to implement sustainable development;

8.  Recalls that the EU and its Member States are all signatories to the Paris Agreement, and are therefore committed to its objectives, which require global action; underlines the need to integrate the long-term decarbonisation objective to limit global warming to well below 2°C, and to pursue efforts to further limit this increase to 1.5°C;

9.  Recognises that in order to meet the SDGs, multi-stakeholder engagement will be required from the EU, Member States’ local and regional authorities, civil society, citizens, business and third partners; calls on the Commission to ensure that the multi-stakeholder platform announced in its communication becomes a model of best practice for facilitating the planning, implementation, monitoring and review of the 2030 Agenda; stresses that the platform should mobilise the expertise of different key sectors, promote innovation and contribute to ensuring effective links with stakeholders, encouraging the bottom-up promotion of sustainable development; stresses, moreover, that the platform should be much broader in scope than a peer-learning platform and allow for a real engagement of stakeholders in the planning and monitoring of the implementation of the SDGs; calls on the Commission to promote synergies with other related platforms such as the REFIT platform, the Circular Economy Platform, the High Level Working Group on Competitiveness and Growth and the High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, and to report to Parliament and the Council on how the recommendations of the platform will be followed up;

10.  Calls on the Commission to step up efforts to facilitate the governance of the SDGs to ensure the following: i)

  Multi-sector: by setting up a national co-ordination structure responsible for the follow-up of Agenda 21 which would benefit from the expertise of NGOs;ii)

  Multi-level: by establishing an effective institutional framework for sustainable development at all levels;iii)

  Multi-actor: by facilitating and encouraging public awareness and participation by making information widely available; iv)

  A focus on improving the science-policy interface;v)

  Establishing a clear timetable that combines short-term and long-term thinking.

Asks the Commission, therefore, to ensure that the multi-stakeholder platform results not only in pooling, but also in the dissemination of working knowledge on SDGs, and to ensure that the platform influences the policy agenda. As such, requests that the Commission, with input from Parliament and the Council, create a multi-stakeholder platform that engages actors from across a range of sectors. Business and industry, consumer groups, trade unions, social NGOs, environment and climate NGOs, development cooperation NGOs and local government and city representatives should all be represented in a forum of no less than 30 stakeholders. The meetings should be open to as many actors as possible and designed to be expanded if interest increases over time. The platform should, in its quarterly meetings, identify issues which present impediments to delivering on the SDGs. Parliament should consider the establishment of a working group on the SDGs so as to ensure horizontal working within Parliament on the topic. This forum should consist of MEPs representing as many of the Committees as possible. The Commission and Parliament should both be active in the meetings of the multi-stakeholder platform meetings. The Commission should produce an update to the platform each year on its future plans to help with SDG implementation, as well as a document that would be accessible at all levels in all Member States about best practice in implementing SDGs ahead of the UN SDG high level meetings in June/July. The Committee of Regions should act as a bridge between local actors and national actors;

11.  Welcomes the increasing amount of institutional and private capital allocated to financing the SDGs and invites the Commission and the Member States to develop sustainable development criteria for EU institutional spending, to identify potential regulatory barriers and incentives to SDG investment and to explore opportunities for convergence and cooperation between public and private investments;

12.  Welcomes the potential contribution of the Environmental Implementation Review to the achievement of the SDGs through the improved implementation of the acquis in the Member States; warns, however, that this review should not be considered a replacement for other tools such as infringement procedures;

13.  Urges the Commission to develop effective monitoring, tracking and review mechanisms for implementing and mainstreaming the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda and calls on the Commission, in cooperation with Eurostat, to establish a set of specific progress indicators for the internal application of the SDGs in the EU; calls for the Commission to carry out annual reporting on the EU’s progress in SDG implementation; stresses that the Member States should be supported by the Commission in their coherent reporting; calls for Parliament to become a partner in the process, particularly in the second work stream post-2020, and calls for annual dialogue and reporting between Parliament, the Council and the Commission, culminating in the production of a report; urges that the results should be both transparent and easily understandable and communicable for a wide range of audiences; highlights the importance of transparency and democratic accountability when monitoring the 2030 Agenda and therefore underlines the role of the co-legislators in this process; considers that the conclusion of a binding interinstitutional agreement under Article 295 of TFEU would provide an appropriate arrangement for cooperation in this regard;

14.  Stresses that the EU’s prevailing industrial agriculture will make it impossible to meet SDG 2 on sustainable agriculture and the SDGs on preventing pollution and the overuse of water (6.3 & 6.4), on improving soil quality (2.4 & 15.3), and on halting biodiversity loss (15) at EU level;

15.  Considers that the EU should be the global frontrunner of the transition to a low-carbon economy and a sustainable production-consumption system; invites the Commission to orient its science, technology and innovation (STI) policies towards the SDGs and calls on it to devise a communication on STI for sustainable development (‘STI4SD’), as recommended by the Commission Expert Group on the ‘Follow-up to Rio+20, notably the SDGs’, in order to formulate and support long-term policy coordination and cohesion;

16.  Stresses that science, technology and innovation are particularly important tools for implementing the SDGs; emphasises the need for Horizon 2020 and future framework programmes for research to integrate better the concept of sustainable development and societal challenges;

17.  Recalls that, as set out in its 12 May 2016 resolution, Parliament should have a clear role in the EU’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda;

18.  Welcomes recent initiatives to promote resource efficiency, inter alia through the promotion of waste prevention, reuse and recycling, limiting energy recovery to non-recyclable materials and phasing out landfilling of recyclable or recoverable waste, as put forward in the Circular Economy Action Plan and the proposal for new, ambitious EU waste targets, which will, inter alia, contribute to SDG 12 and the reduction of marine litter; recognises that achieving the SDGs and meeting the climate change targets in a cost-effective manner will require increases in resource efficiency and will, by 2050, reduce annual global GHG emissions by 19 % and the GHG emissions of the G7 nations by up to 25 % alone; points to the fact that 12 out of the 17 SDGs are dependent on the sustainable use of natural resources; highlights the importance of sustainable consumption and production by increasing efficiency and by reducing pollution, resource demand and waste; stresses the need to decouple growth, resource use and environmental impacts; calls on the Commission to draft regular reports on the circular economy that detail its state and trends and enable existing policies to be modified on the basis of objective, reliable and comparable information; calls on the Commission, furthermore, to ensure that the circular economy delivers a significant drop in the use of virgin materials, a reduction in materials waste, longer lasting products, and the use of manufacturing by-products and excess materials previously considered waste streams; calls on the Commission to come up with an ambitious and comprehensive strategy on plastics while also adhering to the 2020 target for the environmentally sound management of chemicals, taking into account the objective on non-toxic materials cycles as laid down in the 7th EAP; considers that coordinated action at European level against food waste is crucial to SDG2; underlines the EU target of reducing food waste by 50 % by 2030;

19.  Stresses that Decision No 1386/2013/EU indicates that the current systems of production and consumption in the global economy generate a large amount of waste which, combined with a growing demand for goods and services to the point of resource exhaustion, are contributing to the rise in price of essential raw materials, minerals and energy, while generating even more pollution and waste, increasing global greenhouse gas emissions, and accelerating soil degradation and deforestation; consequently, efforts need to be made on the part of the EU and its Member States to ensure the life-cycle assessment (LCA) of products and services so as to evaluate their real impact with regard to sustainability;

20.  Recalls that decoupling economic growth from resource consumption is essential for limiting environmental impacts and for improving Europe’s competitiveness and reducing its resource dependency;

21.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to address the significant delays in achieving good water status under the Water Framework Directive, and to ensure the attainment of SDG 6; notes the EEA’s assessment that more than half of the river and lake water bodies in Europe have an ecological status that is classified as less than good and that water ecosystems are still experiencing the most significant deterioration and biodiversity decline; calls on the Commission to support innovative approaches to sustainable water management, including by unlocking the full potential of waste water, and applying the principles of circular economy in water management, by implementing measures to promote the safe reuse of waste water in agriculture and in the industrial and municipal sectors; emphasises that around 70 million Europeans experience water stress during the summer months; recalls, moreover, that approximately 2 % of the total population of the EU does not have full access to drinking water, which disproportionally affects vulnerable, marginalised groups; recalls, furthermore, that there are 10 deaths a day in Europe as a result of unsafe water and poor sanitation and hygiene;

22.  Welcomes the Commission’s joint communication for the future of our oceans, which proposes 50 actions for safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed oceans in Europe and around the world in order to meet SDG 14 – an urgent goal given the need for rapid recovery of European seas and global oceans;

23.  Stresses the environmental significance and socio-economic benefits of biodiversity and notes that according to the latest ‘Planetary boundaries’ report, current values of biodiversity loss have crossed the planetary boundary, while biosphere integrity is considered a core boundary which when significantly altered brings the earth system into a new state; notes with concern that the targets of the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy and of the Convention on Biological Diversity will not be met without substantial additional efforts; recalls that around 60 % of animal species and 77 % of protected habitats are in less than optimal conditions(10); calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up their efforts in order to achieve these targets, by, inter alia, fully implementing the Nature Directives and recognising the added value of the ecosystems and biodiversity of the European environment by allocating sufficient resources, including in future budgets for biodiversity conservation, in particular to the Natura 2000 network and the LIFE programme; reiterates the necessity for a common tracking methodology that takes into account all direct and indirect spending on biodiversity and the efficiency of that spending, while stressing that overall EU spending must have no negative impact on biodiversity and should support the achievement of Europe’s biodiversity targets;

24.  Stresses that the full implementation, enforcement and adequate financing of the Nature Directives is a vital prerequisite for ensuring the success of the biodiversity strategy as a whole and meeting its headline target; welcomes the Commission’s decision not to revise the Nature Directives;

25.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to quickly complete and bolster the Natura 2000 ecological network, while stepping up efforts to ensure that a sufficient number of special areas of conservation (SACs) are designated as such in accordance with the Habitats Directive and that a designation of that kind is combined with effective measures to protect biodiversity in Europe;

26.  Notes that research shows that intensive agriculture is a key driver of loss of soil organic carbon and soil biodiversity; calls on the EU to promote methods that build soil quality, such as rotations including legumes and livestock, thereby enabling the EU to meet SDGs 2.4 and 15.3;

27.  Considers that the EU must do much more to achieve SDG 15; urges the Commission, in particular, to prioritise the topic of environmental decontamination by proposing harmonised standards against the use and degradation of soil and by presenting as soon as possible the action plan against deforestation and forest degradation that has been announced several times and the time schedule for its implementation;

28.  Calls on the Commission to step up efforts as a global player in protecting the important ecology and environment of the Arctic; strongly urges the Commission not to allow any policies which incentivise the exploitation of the Arctic for fossil fuels;

29.  Recognises that changes in soil biodiversity and soil organic carbon are mostly driven by land management practices and land use change as well as climate change, which has a severe, negative impact on entire ecosystems and society; calls on the Commission, therefore, to devote particular attention to soil-related issues in the forthcoming 8th EAP;

30.  Stresses that EU imports of soybean meal for animal nutrition contribute to deforestation in South America, thereby undermining the SDGs on deforestation, climate change and biodiversity;

31.  Underlines that the 7th EAP is, in itself, a key instrument for the implementation of the SDGs, although action taken in some sectors is still not enough to ensure that the SDGs will be met; calls on the Commission and the Member States to take all the necessary steps to fully implement the 7th EAP, to incorporate in the evaluation of the 7th EAP an assessment of the extent to which its goals correspond to the SDGs and, by taking these outcomes into account, to come up with a recommendation for the successor programme; calls on the Commission to propose in a timely manner a Union Environmental Action Programme for the period after 2020, as required by Article 192(3) of TFEU, as such a programme will contribute to achieving the SDGs in Europe;

32.  Welcomes the focus on biodiversity, natural resources and ecosystems, and the acknowledged link between these elements and human health and well-being; stresses the need for a ‘One Health’ approach encompassing human, animal and environmental health, and recalls that investment in research and innovation aimed at developing new health technologies is an essential precondition for achieving the SDGs; urges the Commission to undertake an analysis very swiftly in order to respond to the OECD EU Health at a Glance publication, which shows that life expectancy has not risen in many EU Member States; notes that equitable access to high-quality healthcare is the key to sustainable health systems as it has the potential to reduce inequalities; stresses that more efforts are needed in order to address the multi-dimensional barriers to access at individual, provider and health system levels – and to continue to invest in innovation and medical research and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) with a view to developing health solutions that are accessible, sustainable and geared towards combating the global scourge of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis meningitis, Hepatitis C and other neglected infectious diseases, which are often tied to poverty; points out that investing in global medical research and development is crucial for addressing emerging health challenges such as epidemics and resistance to antibiotics;

33.  Underlines the fact that the oceans economy, or ‘blue economy’, offers important opportunities for the sustainable use and conservation of marine resources, and that suitable capacity-building support for developing and implementing planning tools and management systems can enable developing countries to seize these opportunities; underlines the major role that the European Union must play in this regard;

34.  Recalls that the Commission proposal for the 2030 climate and energy framework sets three key targets for 2030: a reduction in GHG emissions of at least 40 %, at least 27 % of EU energy demand to be met with renewables and an improvement in energy efficiency of at least 30 %; recalls the positions taken by Parliament on these targets; underlines the need to keep these targets under review and to prepare a mid-century zero emissions strategy for the EU, providing a cost-efficient pathway, by taking into account the regional and national specificities within the EU, towards reaching the net zero emissions goals of the Paris Agreement;

35.  Calls for the EU and the Member States to effectively mainstream climate change mitigation and adaptation in development policies; highlights the need to encourage technology transfers for energy efficiency and clean technologies, and to support investments in small-scale, off-grid and decentralised renewable energy projects; calls for the EU to scale up its assistance to sustainable agriculture in order to cope with climate change, by means of targeted support for small-scale farmers, crop diversification, agro-forestry and agro-ecological practices;

36.  Recognises, furthermore, that a reduction in the EU’s production and consumption of meat would contribute to meeting the SDGs on reducing non-communicable diseases (SDG 3.4), on reducing pollution and the overuse of water (red meat in particular) (6.3 & 6.4), on improving soil quality (2.4 & 15.3), and on halting deforestation (15.2) and biodiversity loss (15);

37.  Recognises the nexus between the extraction of fisheries resources and conservation and trade; recognises, furthermore, that the opportunity cost of not acting to address harmful fishing subsidies is extremely high, as without action resources will be depleted, food insecurity will result and those sources of employment that were sought to be preserved will be destroyed;

38.  Underlines the fact that energy poverty, which is often defined as a situation whereby individuals or households are not able to adequately heat or provide other required energy services in their homes at an affordable cost, is a problem across many Member States; stresses that energy poverty is due to rising energy prices, the recessionary impact on national and regional economies and poor energy efficient homes; recalls that according to the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), it is estimated that 54 million European citizens (10.8 % of the EU’s population) were unable to keep their home adequately warm in 2012, with similar numbers being reported with regard to the late payment of utility bills or presence of poor housing conditions; calls on the Member States to recognise and address this problem, as guaranteeing basic energy services is critical for ensuring that communities do not suffer negative health impacts, do not become further entrenched in poverty and can maintain a good quality of life, as well as for ensuring the financial outlay to assist households that require support does not become too burdensome; stresses that modern energy services are crucial to human well-being and to a country’s economic development; and yet globally 1.2 billion people are without access to electricity and more than 2.7 billion people are without clean cooking facilities; recalls, furthermore, that more than 95 % of these people live either in sub-Saharan African or developing Asia, and around 80 % live in rural areas; stresses that energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today; stresses that, be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access to energy for all is essential, and that sustainable energy represents opportunity – it transforms lives, economies and the planet;

39.  Recommends a full integration of climate action across the EU budget (climate action mainstreaming), ensuring that measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are integrated into all investment decisions in Europe;

40.  Calls on the Commission to produce a report every five years, starting within six months of the 2018 facilitative dialogue under the UNFCCC, on the EU’s climate legislation, including the Effort Sharing Regulation and the ETS Directive, in order to ascertain that this legislation is effective in making the expected contribution to EU GHG reduction efforts and to establish whether the current trajectory for reductions will be enough to meet the SDGs and the goals of the Paris Agreement; further requests that the Commission revise and scale up the 2030 climate and energy framework and the EU’s nationally determined contribution by 2020 at the latest, so that they are sufficiently aligned with the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs; calls for the Commission to incentivise the potential for GHG absorption by encouraging the development of policies that support afforestation with proper forest management practices, in view of the fact that the EU has, under the 2030 Agenda, committed to promoting the implementation of sustainable forest management, to halting deforestation, restoring degraded forests and increasing afforestation and reforestation globally by 2020;

41.  Underlines the fact that efforts to mitigate global warming are not an obstacle to economic growth and employment and that, on the contrary, the decarbonisation of the economy should be seen as a key source for new and sustainable economic growth and employment; acknowledges, nevertheless, that in moving towards any new economic and social model, communities centred around traditional industries are likely to face challenges; underlines the importance of support in this transition and calls on the Commission and Member States to stream funding from sources such as the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in order to finance modernisation and a just transition to help such communities and to promote the adoption of the best technology and production practices to ensure the best environmental standards and safe, stable and sustainable work;

42.  Stresses that in order for the EU to meet the goals of the 2030 Agenda it is essential that these are comprehensively reflected in the European Semester, including by addressing green jobs, resource efficiency, and sustainable investments and innovation; notes that a resource-efficient economy has great potential for job creation and economic growth, as by 2050 it would add an extra USD 2 trillion to the global economy and generate an extra USD 600 billion in the GDP of G7 countries;

43.  Notes that continuous biodiversity loss, the negative effects of deforestation and climate change can lead to growing competition for resources such as food and energy, to increased poverty, global political instability, and population displacements and new global migration patterns; insists that the Commission, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Member States should consider these in all aspects of external relations and international diplomacy while ensuring a substantial increase in Official Development Assistance (ODA) financing; asks that the Commission, the EEAS and the Member States pursue, in all actions and interactions with third countries, efforts to reduce emissions by promoting renewable energy sources, resource efficiency biodiversity and forest protection, and by promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation;

44.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that EU external policies are compatible with the SDGs, and to identify areas where further action or implementation is needed to ensure that EU external policies support effective implementation of the SDGs and do not conflict with SDGs and their implementation in other regions, especially developing countries; calls on the Commission, to this end, to set in motion a reliable process starting with a foresight/early warning method for new initiatives and proposals, including the revision of existing legislation, and to come forward with a proposal for an overarching external Sustainable Development Strategy; emphasises the available tools and forums such as the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), the UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (RFSD) the High-Level Political Forum, and the UN central platform; calls for a voluntary review at the High-Level Political Forum in line with the 2030 Agenda, which encourages Member States to ‘conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress’; emphasises the role of regular and adequate ex-ante impact assessments in this regard; recalls the Treaty obligation to take into account the objectives of development cooperation in all policies which are likely to affect developing countries;

45.  Recalls the specific role played by culture in external relations and development policy, in particular with regard to conflict resolution and prevention, peace-making and the empowerment of local populations; considers, therefore, that an ambitious and sound cultural strategy, to include cultural diplomacy, is needed to achieve a new consensus on development;

46.  Underlines the importance of ODA as a key instrument for achieving the 2030 Agenda, for eradicating poverty in all its forms and fighting inequalities, while reiterating that development aid alone is not sufficient to lift developing countries out of poverty; stresses the need to promote instruments which encourage greater accountability, such as budget support; calls for the EU and its Member States to reconfirm their commitment without delay to the 0.7 % of the gross national income target and to submit detailed timeline proposals for gradually increasing ODA in order to achieve it; recalls the EU’s commitment to allocate at least 20 % of its ODA to human development and social inclusion and asks for a renewed commitment to this end; calls on the Commission to achieve the OECD Development Assistance Committee’s (DAC) recommendation of reaching an annual average grant element of total ODA commitments of 86 %; calls for ODA to be protected from diversion and for the internationally agreed development effectiveness principles to be respected, by retaining the fundamental ODA objective of poverty eradication, with a particular focus on least developed countries (LDCs) and fragile contexts; recalls the need to go beyond the donor/beneficiary relationship in a broader development agenda;

47.  Stresses the role of the High-Level Political Forum in the follow-up and review of the SDGs, and calls on the Commission and Council to honour the EU’s leading role in designing and implementing the 2030 Agenda by agreeing joint EU positions and joined-up EU reporting, based on coordinated reporting from the Member States and the EU institutions, ahead of the High-Level Political Forum under the auspices of the General Assembly; invites the Commission to take stock of existing actions during the upcoming High-Level Political Forum and the specific SDGs that will be under review;

48.  Stresses that ensuring tax justice and transparency, fighting tax dodging, eradicating illicit financial flows and tax havens, together with improved public finance management, sustainable economic growth and increasing Domestic Resources Mobilisation, is crucial for financing the 2030 Agenda; calls for the EU to create a funding programme (DEVETAX2030) to specifically assist the establishment of tax structures in emerging market economies and to help developing countries to create new regional tax authority offices; reiterates its calls for a global financial transaction tax in order to tackle the global challenges of poverty, for an investigation into the spill-over impact on developing countries of all national and EU tax policies, and for the principle of PCD to be upheld when legislating in this field;

49.  Takes note of the problems arising from the explosive growth of megacities and the challenges this phenomenon poses for social and environmental sustainability; calls for balanced regional development and recalls that galvanised economic activity in rural areas and in smaller towns and cities relieves the pressure to migrate to urban megacentres, thus alleviating problems of uncontrolled urbanisation and migration; stresses that decentralised regional structures promote the circulation of scarce nutrients, such as phosphorus, from towns and cities back to agricultural production;

50.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to re-adjust their approach to migration with a view to developing a migration policy in line with SDG 10 and a fact-based perception of migrants and asylum-seekers and with countering xenophobia and discrimination against migrants, as well as with a view to investing in key drivers for human development; reiterates its concerns that the new policies and financial instruments to address the root causes of irregular and forced migration may be implemented to the detriment of development objectives, and asks for the European Parliament to be given a stronger scrutinising role in this regard so as to ensure that the new funding tools are compatible with the legal basis, principles and commitments of the EU, especially the 2030 Agenda; rejects the idea that conditionality of aid based on border control, the management of migratory flows or readmission agreements should constitute the basis of partnership and development cooperation with third countries;

51.  Welcomes the emphasis placed on investing in young people as the main implementers of the SDGs; stresses the need to harness the demographic dividend of developing countries by means of appropriate public policies and investment in youth education and health, including sexual and reproductive health and education; stresses the opportunity to finally advance gender equality and women’s empowerment as an essential element of PCD and urges the EU to mainstream these across all external action areas; recognises that these key enablers for human development and human capital need to be prioritised in order to guarantee sustainable development;

52.  Notes that both the present and former UN Special Rapporteurs on the right to food have condemned industrial agriculture as being damaging to soil health and small-scale farmers and have instead stressed the benefits of agroecology; calls on the Commission and the Member States not to promote or fund industrial crop and livestock production in the developing world and the EU, and to support the development and promotion of different measures of success than what industrialised agriculture presents;

53.  Presses the Commission and the Member States to ensure that public budgets do not conflict with the SDGs; considers that significant acceleration of green investment, innovation and growth in the EU is needed for the timely and successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda and recognises that new financing tools and different approaches to current investment policy, such as the phasing out of environmentally harmful subsidies and high-emission projects, are necessary; calls for a strategy for the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors by multinationals and businesses in their corporate business models and by institutional investors in their investment strategies in order to shift funds to sustainable finance and divest from fossil fuels;

54.  Calls for the post-2020 MFF to reorient the Union's budget towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ensuring that sufficient funding is allocated to effectively achieving the SDGs; calls for enhanced mainstreaming of sustainable development in all funding mechanisms and budgetary lines, reiterating that long-term policy coherence plays an important role in cost minimisation; highlights the significance of cohesion policy as the main investment policy of the EU, and recalls that a horizontal application of sustainability criteria and performance-based objectives for all EU structural and investment funds, including the European Fund for Strategic Investments, is needed in order to achieve a comprehensive transition to sustainable and inclusive economic growth;

55.  Calls on the European Investment Bank (EIB) to ensure that it lives up to the values of Europe in implementing strong sustainability criteria in its lending, and in particular that lending to the energy and transport sectors is targeted at low-carbon and sustainable projects;

56.  Calls on the EIB to commit 40 % of its lending portfolio to low-carbon and climate-resilient growth by 2030;

57.  Asks the EIB to allocate more funds to the ELENA initiative to provide grants for technical assistance focused on the implementation of energy efficiency, distributed renewable energy and urban transport projects and programmes;

58.  Recognises that resilient and sustainable infrastructure is a key principle of achieving a low-carbon sustainable future and brings a number of co-benefits such as durability and improved protection from fire and flooding; considers that a transition to a sustainable society can be achieved by adhering to the principle of ‘energy efficiency first’ and continuing to improve the efficiency of appliances, power grids and buildings while developing storage systems; recognises that the greatest potential for energy efficiency lies in buildings and asks the EU to commit to a 2050 goal of an entirely sustainable, decarbonised, energy-efficient building stock that has nearly zero energy demand and where any residual demand is supplied from a wide range of renewable sources; calls for an accelerated increase in the share of renewable energy in the EU energy mix; warns against the lock-in of unsustainable infrastructure and calls on the Commission to propose measures for an orderly transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy and a fundamental reorientation of infrastructure development in order to mitigate the systemic economic risks associated with high-carbon financial assets;

59.  Calls on the Commission and its Member States to prioritise sustainable mobility by improving local public transport systems in line with the specific characteristics of every country and on the basis of the real needs of its citizens; considers that EU financial support for the development of the transport sector and infrastructures should pursue objectives that bring real added value to the Member States;

60.  Notes that environmental degradation and climate change pose significant risks to establishing and maintaining peace and justice; recognises the need for a higher profile of the part that climate change and environmental degradation are playing in driving global migration, as well as poverty and hunger; calls for the EU and the Member States to maintain climate change as a strategic priority in diplomatic dialogues at global level, including in high-level bilateral and bi-regional dialogues with the G7, the G20, at the UN and with partner countries such as China in order to continue a positive and active dialogue that speeds up the global clean energy transition and avoids dangerous climate change;

61.  Underlines that corruption has a serious impact on the environment, and that trafficking in endangered species of wildlife, minerals and precious stones, as well as forest products such as timber, are also inextricably linked to corruption; underlines further that trafficking in wildlife can further threaten endangered species, while illegal logging can lead to a loss of biodiversity and increase carbon emissions, which contribute to climate change; stresses that for organised criminal groups the profits are good and come with little risk, as forest crimes are rarely prosecuted and the sanctions often do not match the gravity of the crime; recalls that the United Nations Convention against Corruption, with its comprehensive focus on corruption prevention, effective law enforcement, international cooperation and asset recovery, can be an effective tool for combating corruption in the environmental sector; calls on the Member States to integrate anti-corruption strategies such as transparency and accountability into environmental legislation and policies and to enhance democracy and good governance; stresses that tackling corruption in the environmental sector will help create equitable access to essential resources such as water and a clean environment and is essential for protecting our environment and ensuring sustainable development;

62.  Recognises the work of the US-based Center for Climate and Security in identifying flashpoints between climate change and international security, which refers to climate change as a ‘threat multiplier’ which could demand greater humanitarian or military intervention and lead to more severe storms that threaten cities and military bases;

63.  Calls on the Commission to emphasise to all stakeholders, including investors, trade unions and citizens, the benefits of transforming unsustainable productions into activities that make it possible to implement the sustainable development goals and the benefits of permanent retraining of the workforce with a view to green, clean, high-quality employment;

64.  Stresses that education and training are key to setting society on the path to sustainability; highlights the fact that sustainability education develops skills, knowledge and values that promote behaviour in support of a sustainable future; encourages Member States, therefore, to step up their efforts to implement sustainability education at all levels and in all forms of education and training;

65.  Is deeply concerned about the differences in the performance of education systems in Member States, as shown by the latest PISA reports, and about the fact that between 2010 and 2014 investment in education and training fell by 2.5 % in the EU as a whole; stresses that properly resourced public education and training systems, accessible to all, are essential for equality and social inclusion and for meeting the targets set under SDG 4; stresses, nevertheless, that education remains a competence which falls to the Member States;

66.  Stresses that education is key to developing self-sustaining societies; calls for the EU to link quality education, technical and vocational training and cooperation with industry as an essential pre-condition for youth employability and access to qualified jobs; believes that addressing the issue of access to education in emergency and crisis situations in particular is crucial for both the development and protection of children;

67.  Regrets the persistent problem of high youth unemployment; recalls the importance of the Youth Guarantee schemes and the Youth Employment Initiative in addressing this problem; calls for their continued improvement and for proper financial support in order to promote the creation of new, high-quality jobs and decent social protection for young people, to overcome the existing difficulties in engaging with vulnerable groups and to reach non-registered NEETs and low-skilled young people more effectively;

68.  Highlights the role of education, both formal and informal, lifelong learning, sport, art and volunteering in learning about sustainability and fostering ecological citizenship, as part of a broader effort to equip young people with the relevant skills, competences and attitudes they need to become open and responsible citizens;

69.  Calls on the Commission to increase support for the health and well-being of young people when revising the 2018 EU Youth Strategy, with a particular emphasis on the timely implementation of the Action Plan on Childhood Obesity and the Action Plan on Youth Drinking and on Heavy Episodic Drinking;

70.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to protect regional, minority and lesser-used languages and linguistic diversity and to ensure that linguistic discrimination is not tolerated when integrating the SDGs into the European policy framework and current and future Commission priorities;

71.  Embraces the opportunities offered by the diversity of learning environments, such as eco-schools, centres for development education and outdoor learning;

72.  Recalls the need to support the training of educators and trainers and to encourage peer-to-peer learning and the exchange of best practices at EU level and worldwide;

73.  Believes that cultural diversity and the protection of natural heritage should be promoted across the European policy framework, including through education;

74.  Recalls the power of quality education to empower vulnerable people, minorities, people with special needs and women and girls, in relation to SDG 4 on education, SDG 5 on gender equality and SDG 16 on promoting inclusive societies;

75.  Calls, in view of the need to promote further synergies between innovation and creativity in science, for the introduction of arts education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects with a view to promoting STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) education, particularly among girls, in order to address societal challenges in reaching sustainability goals;

76.  Calls on the Member States to prioritise the environmental and economic reconversion of industrial sites that in many areas of Europe cause high levels of pollution in environmental media and expose locals to serious health risks;

77.  Considers that any future vision of Europe must embrace the SDGs as a key principle, and that in doing so Member States should be moving towards sustainable economic models, and the role of the EU in achieving sustainable development should therefore be at the heart of the reflections launched by the Commission's White Paper of 1 March 2017 on the Future of Europe (COM(2017)2025), where a stronger dimension of sustainability in the context of economic growth is needed; considers that achieving the SDGs and 2030 Agenda is crucial for the EU and that achieving the SDGs should be Europe's legacy to future generations; recognises that the 2030 Agenda is in line with the principles and values of the Union and that achieving the SDGs therefore naturally follows the European Union’s plans to create a better, healthier and more sustainable future for Europe;

78.  Recognises that most European countries, both EU and non-EU, are signatories to the SDG agreement; considers that, in the context of the debate on the future of Europe, consideration should be given to the development of a pan-European framework for the achievement of the SDGs among Member States of the EU and EEA, signatories to EU association agreements, EU candidate countries and, following its withdrawal, the United Kingdom;

79.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to build capacities for integrated assessment, technological and institutional innovation and financial mobilisation for the achievement of the SDGs;

80.  Underlines the role that the EU Urban Agenda will play in implementing the global ‘New Urban Agenda’, and welcomes policy developments that empower cities and regions to make synergistic green investments; welcomes also initiatives such as the Green Leaf Award and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, and further emphasises the indispensable importance that cities and regions have in delivering on the SDGs, as sustainability requires collaborative and long-term approaches from all levels of governance and all sectors;

81.  Recalls that the 2030 Agenda recognises that we can no longer look at food, livelihoods and the management of natural resources separately; underlines that a focus on rural development and investment in agriculture – crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture – are powerful tools for ending poverty and hunger, and bringing about sustainable development; notes that agriculture has a major role to play in combating climate change; stresses that the great ambition of the SDGs can only be achieved through cooperation – North-South, South-South and triangular – and global partnerships between multiple actors and across a broad range of areas;

82.  Recalls that Member States are required to report to the UN on their performance with respect to the SDGs; emphasises that these Member State reports should be developed in cooperation with competent local and regional authorities; underlines that in Member States with federal or devolved levels of government it is necessary to detail the specific challenges and obligations of these delegated levels of government in achieving the SDGs;

83.  Welcomes the intention to mainstream trade and investment policy which integrates sustainable development, and calls for the impacts of sourcing commodities and natural resources within and outside the EU to be better addressed in EU policy-making, within and beyond the EU's borders; calls for a rethink of the investment policy and for the broad use of innovative financing tools for the achievement of the SDGs; calls on the Commission to ensure that sustainable development checks on future trade agreements are transparent;

84.  Calls on the Commission to design, with the involvement of relevant stakeholders, and provide, specific, tailored support for marginalised, low-income households and groups such as Roma people to ensure healthy lives and access to basic services and safe, clean natural resources such as air, water, affordable and modern energy and healthy nutrition, which would also contribute to attaining SDGs 1, 10 and 15 on ending poverty, reducing inequality and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies;

85.  Considers that EU initiatives geared towards creating a sustainable future cannot disregard the wider debate on the role of animals as sentient beings and their well-being, which is often neglected in the prevailing production and consumption systems; stresses that the EU needs to overcome the current political and legislative shortcomings with regard to animal welfare, as demanded by an increasing number of European citizens;

86.  Calls on the Commission to scale up efforts and funding for awareness raising, targeted education campaigns and enhancing citizens’ commitments and action for sustainable development;

87.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to end by 2020 incentives for rapeseed-, palm-oil- and soy-based biofuels that lead to deforestation and peatland damage; calls furthermore for the introduction of a single certification scheme for palm oil entering the EU market that certifies the socially responsible origin of the product;

88.  Calls on the Commission to promote sustainable global value chains with the introduction of due diligence systems for companies, with a focus on their entire supply chain, which would encourage businesses to invest more responsibly and stimulate a more effective implementation of sustainability chapters in free trade agreements, including in the areas of anticorruption, transparency, anti-tax avoidance and responsible business conduct;

89.  Strongly urges the Commission to continue stepping up action on effective measures to tackle poor air quality, which is responsible for over 430 000 premature deaths in the EU every year; urges the Commission to ensure that new and existing legislation is enforced to speed up legal actions against Member States failing to comply with air pollution laws, and to propose new, effective legislation, including sector-specific legislation, to tackle poor ambient air quality and the various sources of pollution while also addressing methane emissions; underlines the fact that the EU is still far from achieving the air quality levels set for the EU, which are much less stringent than those recommended by the WHO; calls furthermore for measures to address noise pollution;

90.  Notes that the Commission has addressed the problem of poor air quality by launching a number of infringement procedures, in particular against those continuously exceeding the NO2 limit values laid down in Directive 2008/50/EC;

91.  Points out that a reduction in noise pollution is one of the quality parameters that will not be achieved by 2020; stresses that, in the EU, exposure to noise contributes to at least 10 000 premature deaths per year related to coronary heart disease and stroke, and that in 2012 approximately a quarter of the EU population was exposed to noise louder than the limit values; calls on the Member States to prioritise monitoring noise levels and to ensure that the limit values for external and internal environments are respected;

92.  Stresses that Commission data shows that over 50 % of EU cereals are used to feed animals; notes that the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has warned that further use of cereals as animal feed could threaten food security by reducing the grain available for human consumption; notes that research shows that, for every 100 calories of cereals fed to animals, just 17-30 calories enter the human food chain as meat and milk; underlines that FAO studies argue that livestock should be fed on materials that cannot be eaten by humans such as pasture, crop residues and unavoidable food waste;

93.  Stresses the contribution that the livestock sector makes to the EU economy and to sustainable agriculture, particularly when integrated into arable production systems; draws attention to the potential of active nutrient cycle management in the livestock sector to reduce the environmental impact of CO2, ammonia and nitrate emissions; draws attention, furthermore, to the potential of integrated farming to contribute to a better functioning agricultural ecosystem and a climate-friendly farming sector;

94.  Notes that women working in farming in developing countries could increase farm yields by 20-30 % if they had the same access to resources as men; stresses that this level of yield could reduce the number of people who go hungry around the world by 12-17 %;

95.  Stresses, in particular, the fundamental role of women as members of family farms, which constitute the main socioeconomic cell of rural areas, in caring for food production, preservation of traditional knowledge and skills, cultural identity and protection of the environment, bearing in mind that women in rural areas are also affected by wage and pension gaps;

96.  Stresses that studies show that supply-side mitigation of livestock GHG emissions must be accompanied by reduced consumption of meat and dairy products if we are to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement;

97.  Notes that although technical mitigation measures in the agricultural sector can contribute to reducing GHG emissions, this must be accompanied by a reduction in consumption of animal products if the EU farming and food sectors are to play their part in meeting SDG 13 and the targets of the Paris Agreement; calls, in this regard, for industrial livestock production systems to be replaced by extensive livestock farming, e.g. silvopastoral agroforestry systems, which put lower pressure on natural resources and are often associated with the existence of high nature value areas;

98.  Notes that SDG 12.8 requires governments to ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness as regards sustainable development and lifestyle in harmony with nature; urges the Commission and the Member States, accordingly, to develop programmes to increase public awareness of the implications of different livestock farming methods and consumption levels for human health, the environment, food security and climate change;

99.  Calls for sustainability and ecological citizenship education to be mainstreamed across disciplines, in particular entrepreneurship education, including social entrepreneurship, and digital literacy and skills;

100.  Points out that the objective of reducing the impact of food production by 2020 is unlikely to be achieved; stresses that the consumption of red meat and saturated fatty acids in the EU continues to exceed safe nutritional values and that lower consumption of animal products generates fewer GHG and nitrogen emissions;

101.  Notes the current challenges in proper nutrition for a growing population but acknowledges that GHG emissions from agriculture, forestry and fisheries have nearly doubled over the past 50 years and could rise by an additional 30 % by 2050 if immediate measures are not taken; calls therefore for a coordinated response from all actors in Europe to make the food supply resilient to climate shocks and for the impact of the farm sector on land, water, and climate to be reduced; calls on the Commission to increase awareness and incentives with respect to agro-farming techniques which have been shown to mitigate some of the sustainability issues associated with modern farming practices; calls for the EU to double by 2030 agricultural productivity and the incomes of small-scale food producers, particularly women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fisherfolk, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets, and opportunities for adding value and non-farm employment;

102.  Recalls that cultural participation improves physical and mental health and well-being, positively impacts school and professional performance, helps people most at risk of social exclusion to enter the labour market, and thus contributes greatly to the achievement of many SDGs;

103.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop a comprehensive EU Policy Framework addressing global health challenges such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis C and antimicrobial resistance, bearing in mind the different situations and specific challenges of EU Member States and their neighbouring countries where the burden of HIV and MDR-TB is highest; calls on the Commission and the Council to play a strong political role in the dialogue with high-disease burden countries, including neighbouring countries in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, ensuring that plans for sustainable transition to domestic funding are in place, so that HIV and TB programmes will be effective, continued and scaled up after the withdrawal of international donors’ support and to continue to work closely with those countries in ensuring they take the responsibility and ownership of HIV and TB responses;

104.  Recognises the effectiveness in making available ‘PREP’ medication for preventing HIV/AIDS; further calls on the Commission and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to recognise that for HIV/AIDS treatment is also preventative;

105.  Recognises that sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are a key driver with transformative potential for multi-dimensional poverty eradication, and should be always recognised as a pre-condition for both healthy lives and gender equality; stresses, in this context, that greater attention must be paid to SRHR, which are unfortunately still treated as a niche issue, despite being of utmost importance for gender equality, youth empowerment and human development, and ultimately poverty eradication; underlines that this represents little progress from previous EU approaches, and that the recognition of SRHR as key drivers for sustainable development is still missing; notes that the EU position has been incoherent on this front, as shown in this package: the Commission recognises EU action in this domain only under ‘health’ in its communication on the 2030 Agenda, but only under ‘gender equality’ in the communication on the Consensus; calls on the Commission and the Member States therefore to continue to request that the United States rethink its stance on the so-called 'global gag rule';

106.  Stresses the need to continue promoting health research to develop new and improved accessible, affordable and suitable medical solutions to HIV/AIDS, TB and other poverty-related and neglected diseases, emerging epidemics and antimicrobial resistance;

107.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to commit the necessary resources and political focus to ensure that the principle of gender equality and women's and girls' empowerment is at the core of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda;

108.  Points out that the EU farming sector is already making a contribution to sustainability; notes however that the common agricultural policy (CAP) in its current form is not able to respond to current challenges; calls on the Commission to put forward proposals to shift from the current area-based payments towards a results-based system that supports farmers in the transition to a sustainable farming system that ensures the attainment of the SDGs; calls for the EU to develop a sustainable food and farming policy designed to ensure the attainment of the SDGs on food security, nutrition, health, natural resources and climate change; asks the Commission, in the framework of the upcoming review of the CAP, to put forward proposals to further strengthen the greening measures and a proposal for a post-2020 sustainable food and farming policy to ensure the attainment of SDG 2; 3, 6, 12, 13, 14 and 15; calls on the Commission also to develop a sustainable food policy and to actively encourage a shift towards locally and ecologically produced food with a low carbon, land and water footprint; suggests that the importance of trees in agro-ecosystems, and in particular agroforestry systems, be at the forefront of the discussion on future policy, as well as incentives for the sustainable restoration of disused agricultural areas; underlines the need to ensure that CAP expenditures effectively achieve the set objectives through strict compliance and through greater coherence across policy areas, which is of particular relevance with regard to the sustainable management of natural resources and the instruments dedicated to this under the CAP;

109.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote this agro-ecological transition, while minimising the use of pesticides that are detrimental to health and the environment and developing measures to protect and support organic and biodynamic agriculture within the scope of the CAP;

110.  Stresses that culture is a transversal and cross-cutting concern and constitutes an essential resource for development, that the use of cultural resources is a fundamental way to achieve other future development goals, and that the integration of cultural factors in sustainable development policies and strategies should be done in full compliance with other international commitments, acknowledging the universality and interdependence of human rights;

111.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to reform the EU rules on the approval of pesticides as soon as possible, and to establish binding objectives to reduce their use;

112.  Points out that the EU farming sector provides jobs for millions of people in rural areas in agriculture and in other sectors, guaranteeing food supplies and food security and attracting people to rural areas as a place in which to live, work and relax; points out, furthermore, that landscapes with a high biodiversity and high nature value attract people to the countryside, bringing added value to rural areas; notes the great value of rural development policy in building viable, robust and vibrant rural communities and economies; points out that better access for farmers to resources is essential in order to achieve this;

113.  Calls for farming to be developed by focusing on family holdings, with the aid of a better use of European funds such as the European Fund for Strategic Invesments (EFSI), and by paying special attention to small- and medium-sized holdings, by sharing and transferring expertise and by exploiting the advantages of local and regional value and production chains and regional employment, with greater emphasis on peri-urban links and direct sales, which have been a successful model in many parts of the EU; takes the view that the ability of farmers to generate fair remuneration from their labour is a prerequisite for the sustainability of European agriculture and a guarantee of farmers’ welfare;

114.  Recalls that it is important to guarantee proper public services, notably care for children and the elderly, given that such services are particularly important for women, since they have traditionally played a major role in looking after young and elderly family members;

115.  Points out the important role of traditional knowledge and foodstuffs, especially in outermost regions, mountain areas and disadvantaged areas of the EU, as well as the economic contribution that European quality schemes such as Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) bring to local areas; recalls Parliament’s unanimous support for extending such protection to a wider range of regionally produced goods; stresses, in this connection moreover, the role of EU quality schemes (PDO/PGI/TSG) in offering and maintaining livelihoods in those areas; recognises that these schemes are more widely known only in some Member States and calls for awareness to be raised across the Union on their advantages;

116.  Stresses the contribution of the Mediterranean forest and the dehesa agroforestry system – which seamlessly combines sustained, extensive livestock farming with farming and forestry activities – to the objectives of conserving and ensuring the sustainability of biodiversity, for the purposes of recognition and support under the CAP;

117.  Recognises the need for improved transportation and logistics for forest management and the extraction of timber; calls on the Member States, therefore, to develop sustainable logistical and logging systems which have a reduced impact on the climate;

118.  Stresses the importance of bioenergy to farms and the bioeconomy, and of installations, for the generation, storage, distribution and on-farm use of renewable energy, as they help to secure farmers’ incomes by offering them an additional product to sell, and both create and preserve high-quality jobs in rural areas; stresses that the development of bioenergy must be pursued sustainably and must not hamper the production of food and feed; stresses that energy needs should instead be met by encouraging the use of waste and by-products that are not useful in any other process;

119.  Underlines the importance of by-products of biofuel production as a regional source of protein-rich animal feed, of which in 2012-2013 around 70 % had to be imported from outside of the EU(11);

120.  Notes that growing leguminous crops in arable rotation can deliver a win-win situation for farmers, animals, biodiversity and climate needs; calls on the Commission to come forward with a protein plan that includes leguminous crops in rotation;

121.  Regards further progress in precision farming, digitalisation, the rational use of energy, plant and animal breeding and the mainstreaming of integrated pest management as necessary, because increased efficiency based on SDGs and biodiversity will help to reduce both the land requirement and the environmental impact of farming; considers that getting biodiversity to work for farmers could help to improve income, soil health and performance, and help with pest control and improving pollination; highlights, therefore, the importance of an improved regulatory framework so as to ensure timely, efficient and effective decision-making procedures; highlights that these ‘smart’ solutions should incentivise and support initiatives tailored to the needs of smallholdings without economies of scale to benefit from new technologies;

122.  Considers it essential to maintain and develop the performance of traditional and local breeds, given their ability to adapt to the characteristics of their native environment, and for the right of farmers to breed plants autonomously and to store and exchange seeds of different species and varieties to be respected, in order to ensure the genetic diversity of agriculture; rejects attempts of any kind to patent life, plants and animals, genetic material, or essential biological processes, especially where native strains, varieties and characteristics are concerned;

123.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with an action plan and to set up an expert group in order to work towards a more sustainable integrated plant protection management system; highlights the need for a pest management system that improves the interaction between plant breeding efforts, natural combat systems and pesticide use;

124.  Believes it necessary to promote broadband availability and improve transport services in rural areas, so as to contribute not only to the achievement of environmental sustainability objectives but also to the promotion of growth in rural areas that is fully sustainable in environmental, economic and social terms;

125.  Stresses that it is necessary to make culture an integral part of the Commission’s action for sustainability, clearly highlighting the role it plays in economic development, job creation, promoting democracy, social justice and solidarity, fostering cohesion, fighting social exclusion, poverty and generational and demographic disparities; calls on the Commission to mainstream culture in the objectives, definitions, tools and evaluation criteria of its strategy for the SDGs;

126.  Takes the view that cultural institutions and organisations should be innovators and models in the field of sustainability and with regard to green processes, especially in the field of cultural heritage, digitisation, tourism and touring artists; calls for the introduction of a green EU funding incentive to this end;

127.  Presses the Commission to recognise and underline clearly that culture is one of the main drivers for behavioural change and the creation of environmentally-responsible attitudes, consumption patterns and sustainability-driven values;

128.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1)

A/RES/70/1.

(2)

Decision No 1386/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013. OJ L354, 28.12.2013, p. 171.

(3)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0224.

(4)

https://ec.europa.eu/epsc/sites/epsc/files/strategic_note_issue_18.pdf

(5)

Commission communication of 3 May 2011 entitled ‘Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020’, (COM/2011/0244).

(6)

Commission report of 2 October 2015 on the mid-term review of the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020, (COM(2015/0478).

(7)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0034.

(8)

European Parliament resolution of 12 May 2016. Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0224.

(9)

https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2016/goal-13/

(10)

EEA Report No 30/2016, Environmental indicator report 2016 — In support to the monitoring of the 7th Environment Action Programme, https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/environmental-indicator-report-2016

(11)

https://polcms.secure.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/103924/Schaefer_BCEPHearing.pdf


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) impact virtually every aspect of the EU’s work. The SDGs represent not only a blueprint for a better society and world, but essential elements - deliverable through practical and measurable action - for achieving better and more equal health outcomes, greater wellbeing among citizens, higher overall prosperity, action against climate change and the conservation of the environment for future generations.

The Parliament warmly welcomes the work undertaken by the Commission to take stock of how its work programmes affect the delivery of the SDGs. It is essential the Union has a clear set of measurable objectives to ensure the delivery of the UN SDGs.

While it is important that this Report recognises the initiatives already taken by Union institutions to meet the SDGs objectives, this Report aims also to provide additional context for a future roadmap on the future of the EU; ensuring that adherence to the SDGs becomes a key feature of proposed initiatives taking place across all areas of the Union’s work programmes.

When formulating the Union’s approach, the proposed formation of a multi-stakeholder platform is of the utmost importance, as achieving the SDGs cannot be accomplished without consultation and the involvement of multiple layers of government and civil society. While European legislation can help societies meet many of the goals, much of the delivery will be at a local level. Therefore, the multi-stakeholder platform will need to include a variety of state, regional and local actors: from local and regional councils to Mayors and Members of Parliament. It will also need to be a forum for the engagement of a variety of actors in civil society, such as private business (both small and large), the voluntary sector and individual citizens.

The platform should also become a forum to share best practice, success stories as well as ideas that have not worked out. The aim of the forum must be to ensure that proposals do not just flow in one direction - from the Union institutions down - but that proposals and initiatives at Union level are informed and improved by experiences at a local level.

With a view to supporting the implementation of the SDGs across the European work programme, the Rapporteur considers the time is right for the Commission to undertake a number of important studies into whether current targets are sufficient to deliver on the SDGs. It is also vital that reporting back on progress on SDGs is embedded into the working practices of government - at national, regional and local level - and that private business and civil society are supported by the Commission via the multi-stakeholder platform to embed SDGs into working practices.

The Rapporteur would like to highlight the work done by the Committee of Regions for emphasising the importance of cities and regions in delivering on the SDGs. In particular it should be noted that cities are making concrete efforts to improve connectivity, energy use, transport and waste management. The best of these initiatives, many of which have been embedded in the work of the Covenant of Mayors, contribute towards achieving SDGs 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11.

Europe has the opportunity, at a crucial juncture, to assess whether its current climate policies are likely to achieve the desired SDG outcomes. This Report will seek to assess whether the EU’s flagship carbon reduction tools - the ETS and the ESD - are delivering the carbon savings needed to limit the worst effects of climate change. These schemes are among a number of different tools that will be assessed against their viability for achieving SDGs 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, and 17.

The Report will further seek to address whether other European policies on energy, waste and the environment will be sufficient to keep us within safe planetary boundaries and meet SDGs 2, 3, 6, 11, 12, 14 and 15.

The Parliament welcomes the Commission commitment to sustainable economic growth and the recognition of the need to move towards green high quality and sustainable employment. Solid European implementation of the existing legislation on waste prevention and management will create more than 400 000 green jobs; and an additional potential 180 000 green jobs can be created by the revision of the Waste Directives. Furthermore, implementing further energy efficiency and saving measures could create up to 2 million green jobs, with a further 3 million created in the renewable energies sector, ultimately helping to meet SDGs 1, 2, 3,4, 7, 9, 10, and in particular 8 on creating decent work.

Moreover, we must be mindful of the latest ‘Planetary Boundaries’ report, which shows that biodiversity loss is the biggest challenge the planet is facing. The Union and Member States must therefore step up efforts to achieve EU’s efforts of halting biodiversity loss by 2020 and restoring at least 15% of degraded ecosystems if we hope to meet SDGs 14 and 15.

Consumption and production must also ultimately become more sustainable in order to meet SDG 12. Much of the consumption element can be addressed by the waste directives, particularly looking at packaging design, as well as food waste and electronic design. Production however, is an issue embedded in multiple layers of the European Union’s economy, industry and infrastructure. This element underlines the importance of working across all areas of the Union’s work to embed the SDGs, and cannot be achieved without the participation of a full range of society.

The Rapporteur recognises that SDG 3, regarding public health, is common to and applicable across the other SDGs; while access to medicines and research into new diseases and drugs are of vital importance, the Rapporteur considers that without meeting commitments on a healthy climate and environment, it is impossible to deliver the increased life spans and decrease in environmentally linked mortality demanded in 12, 13, 14 and 15.

Member States are signatories to the UN’s SDG programme as both individual countries and as a bloc as members of the European Union. In addition Member States and the EU are also signatories to the UN’s UNFCCC programme; the so-called ‘Paris Agreement’ on Climate. Fulfilling the Paris Agreement means taking significant action on reducing Green House Gases (GHG), severely limiting deforestation and becoming more resource efficient in order to limit global warming to just 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. There are crossovers between many areas of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs. Therefore the Commission, Parliament and Member States should welcome the ability in many areas to meet two international commitments at the same time.

Mainstreaming the SDGs into the Better Regulation Strategy will make European legislation work harder. Legislation should indicate clearly where it is meeting the objectives of the SDGs. This report recognises those areas where policy making that has pushed Europe away from meeting SDG goals, such as the incentivising of food-based biofuels. However, we welcome the moves to include sustainability criteria and supply chain due diligence across policies affecting climate and environment, as well as the moves to incorporate the themes of ILO Convention 169 on indigenous peoples rights into policy-making, where it affects other countries.

An important further pillar to address is that of financial sustainability. Financial markets in the EU continue to channel investments into fossil-based industries and other unsustainable areas. Ultimately this threatens the potential dividends of the investor, where longer-term yields become less likely as the transition to renewables gathers pace (so-called ‘carbon bubble’). Without encouraging the shifting of portfolios onto sustainable alternatives, financial markets risk undermining efforts in other spheres to achieving the SDGs.

Schemes to create long term, decent and green jobs are of utmost importance. In this report however, we would also like to underline that moving the European economy away from the traditional heavy industries it has relied upon will inevitably result in the loss of job opportunities in some industries. This is why the principle of a ‘Just Transition’ is so important. By mainstreaming the idea of the ‘Just Transition’ into European policy, and creating a ‘Just Transition Fund’, we should ensure that those communities on the front line of changes are not adversely affected, where communities are supported at a number of levels and where those affected are the first priority when it comes to assistance – financial or otherwise – as part of the process of moving towards a more comprehensive and sustainable industrial model.

This Report is keen to emphasise that meeting the SDGs will necessitate adaptation to innovative approaches that will evolve over time, and this process is therefore in need of annual revision. The Parliament should be considered a full partner in this revision process. The Rapporteur proposes an annual round-table, overseen by the Commission, between Parliament and Commission to provide a snapshot of progress and an agreed timeline of actions to take forward.

The Commission, in conjunction with Member States, is about to embark on a major process of renewal looking at the long-term future of Europe and the European Union. As this work is undertaken it is vital that we seize upon this opportunity not only to appraise and reflect on the work already done to meet the SDGs, but to integrate them still further into areas of work that do not already encompass an approach aimed at meeting the SDGs. A common European approach to meet the SDGs across all aspects of the Union’s work will ensure that we strive to adapt not just our current way of life and employment patterns to save our environment but that we equip future generations in order to overcome the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities provided by a world economy ever more aware of the need for sustainability.


OPINION of the Committee on Development (19.6.2017)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on EU action for sustainability

(2017/2009(INI))

Rapporteur: Elly Schlein

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A.  whereas the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has a transformational potential and sets out universal, ambitious, comprehensive, indivisible and interlinked goals, aimed at eradicating poverty, fighting discrimination, and promoting prosperity, environmental responsibility, social inclusion and respect for human rights, and strengthening peace and security; whereas these goals require immediate action with a view to full and effective implementation;

B.  whereas the Commission has not yet established a comprehensive strategy to implement the 2030 Agenda encompassing internal and external policy areas with a detailed timeline up to 2030, as requested by the European Parliament in its resolution on the follow-up to and review of the agenda(1), and has not fully taken up a general coordination role for the actions taken at national level; whereas an effective implementation strategy and a monitoring and review mechanism are essential in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

C.  whereas climate change is not a stand-alone environmental issue but presents, according to the UN(2), one of the greatest challenges of our time and poses a serious threat to sustainable development, and its widespread, unprecedented impacts place a disproportionate burden on the poorest and most vulnerable and increase inequality between and within countries; whereas urgent action to combat climate change is integral to the successful implementation of the SDGs;

D.  whereas the financing of the SDGs poses an enormous challenge which demands a strong and global partnership and the use of all forms of financing (from domestic, international, public, private and innovative sources), as well as non-financial means; whereas private financing can complement, but not substitute public funding;

E.  whereas effective mobilisation of domestic resources is an indispensable factor in achieving the objectives of the 2030 Agenda; whereas developing countries are particularly affected by corporate tax evasion and tax avoidance;

F.  whereas promoting sustainable development requires resilience, which should be fostered by means of a multifaceted approach to the EU’s external action and by upholding the principle of policy coherence for development; whereas the Member States’ and EU’s policies have both intended and unintended effects on developing countries, and the SDGs constitute a unique opportunity to achieve more coherence and fairer policies towards developing countries;

G.  whereas international trade can be a powerful driver of development and economic growth and a large share of EU imports comes from developing countries; whereas the 2030 Agenda acknowledges trade as a means of achieving the SDGs;

H.  whereas addressing the challenge of migration and the demands of an increasing global population is essential for achieving sustainable development; whereas the 2030 Agenda emphasises the role of migration as a potential driver of development; whereas Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) establishes the eradication of poverty as the primary objective of EU development policies;

1.  Calls on the Commission to draw up an ambitious overarching strategy which brings together existing initiatives, sets new priorities informed by a broad gap analysis of existing policies and their implementation, and by the synergies and incoherencies between these policies, and which provides guidance for both the EU institutions and the Member States in their implementation, monitoring and review of the 2030 Agenda; whereas this should be done while ensuring that both EU internal and external policies are in line with the agenda, without waiting for the Europe 2020 strategy to expire before beginning this process;

2.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to define a clear, concrete, ambitious and detailed EU-wide 2030 Agenda implementation plan with specific targets, fixed timetables and a methodology for coordination between the EU and its Member States; stresses that this implementation plan should be underpinned by a transparent and robust monitoring, accountability and review framework with the close involvement of the European Parliament and civil society; stresses that it should also be based on a comprehensive set of assessable quantitative and qualitative indicators, covering human rights and social, economic and environmental factors, and should not rely only on traditional indicators such as GDP, as it does not reflect inequalities or environmental degradation;

3.  Recalls the importance of the underlying principle of the 2030 Agenda of ‘leaving no one behind’; asks the Commission and the Member States to take strong action in addressing inequalities within and between countries, as these magnify the impact of other global challenges and hinder progress on sustainable development; asks the Commission and the Member States to promote research and data disaggregation in their policies in order to ensure that the most vulnerable and marginalised are included and prioritised;

4.  Stresses that the next Multiannual Financial Frameworks (MFF) should be designed in such a way as to enable the implementation of the EU’s strategy and 2030 Agenda implementation plan and to ensure that the EU makes a substantial contribution to achieving the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda worldwide; calls on the Commission to ensure that the next MFF mainstreams sustainable development priorities throughout the EU budget, with all financial instruments allocating sufficient funds for the EU to be able to meet its 2030 commitments;

5.  With a view to supporting the objective of achieving SDG 3 – to ensure the health and well-being of all – welcomes the report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines and requests that the Commission propose the implementation of its recommendations in the relevant policy areas;

6.  Underlines the importance of Official Development Assistance (ODA) as a key instrument for achieving the 2030 Agenda, for eradicating poverty in all its forms and fighting inequalities, while reiterating that development aid alone is not sufficient to lift developing countries out of poverty; stresses the need to promote instruments which encourage greater accountability, such as budget support; calls for the EU and its Member States to reconfirm their commitment without delay to the 0.7 % of the gross national income target and to submit detailed timeline proposals for gradually increasing ODA in order to achieve it; recalls the EU’s commitment to allocate at least 20 % of its ODA to human development and social inclusion and asks for a renewed commitment to this end; calls on the Commission to achieve the OECD Development Assistance Committee’s (DAC) recommendation of reaching an annual average grant element of total ODA commitments of 86 %; calls for ODA to be protected from diversion and for the internationally agreed development effectiveness principles to be respected, by retaining the fundamental ODA objective of poverty eradication, with a particular focus on least developed countries (LDCs) and fragile contexts; recalls the need to go beyond the donor/beneficiary relationship in a broader development agenda;

7.  Underlines the fact that science, technology and innovation (STI) are an essential vehicle for implementing the SDGs, as they drive social and economic development and can provide life-saving solutions that address the global burden of poverty-related and neglected diseases; calls for the Commission and the Member States to improve both the financial and policy environment to promote STI through their development cooperation;

8.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to reaffirm their commitment to Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) as an important contribution towards achieving broader Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD), as they are vitally important for the successful implementation of the SDGs; stresses, in particular, the need for all EU policies, in particular trade, fiscal, migration, agriculture and energy policies, to be consistent with Article 208 TFEU and to not undermine human rights or the ability of third countries to achieve sustainable development; stresses the need to enhance mechanisms for PCD and PCSD within all EU institutions and policy-making, and to ensure that the principle of policy coherence is respected adequately in regular, public impact assessments and by introducing adequate mechanisms for accountability, mitigation and redress;

9.  Calls for the EU and the Member States to effectively mainstream climate change mitigation and adaptation in development policies; highlights the need to encourage technology transfers for energy efficiency and clean technologies, and to support investments in small-scale, off-grid and decentralised renewable energy projects; calls for the EU to scale up its assistance to sustainable agriculture in order to cope with climate change, by means of targeted support for small-scale farmers, crop diversification, agro-forestry and agro-ecological practices;

10.  Stresses the role of the High-Level Political Forum in the follow-up and review of the SDGs, and calls on the Commission and Council to honour the EU’s leading role in designing and implementing the 2030 Agenda by agreeing joint EU positions and joined-up EU reporting, based on coordinated reporting from the Member States and the EU institutions, ahead of the High-Level Political Forum under the auspices of the General Assembly; invites the Commission to take stock of existing actions during the upcoming High-Level Political Forum and the specific SDGs that will be under review;

11.  Calls for the establishment of a cross-committee coordination mechanism in the European Parliament, with the mandate of overseeing and following up on the EU’s implementation of its 2030 Agenda commitments; stresses that Parliament must commit to setting up such coordination structures (e.g. annual stocktaking in plenary on the basis of progress reports, a group of focal points across all committees or a dedicated intergroup) and appoint at the highest possible level one or more persons responsible for guiding these coordination efforts;

12.  Underlines that the three dimensions of sustainable development – environmental, economic and social – are inextricably connected, and stresses that economic sustainability is essential for the environment; highlights that the promotion of good governance, the rule of law and human rights is essential, not only for social sustainability, but also for a responsible use of natural resources and for the protection of the environment; calls on the Commission to spearhead broad international cooperation, to work together with third partners to build resilience and an adaptive capacity to the adverse effects of climate change, and to develop sustainable low-carbon pathways to the future and accelerate the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions in line with SDG 13 and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change;

13.  Believes that supporting peace, security and justice in developing countries is crucial; emphasises that the funding for security-related expenditure, which does not constitute ODA, must come from instruments other than the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), the European Development Fund (EDF) or any other mechanisms that benefit from these instruments;

14.  Takes note of the role of the private sector, especially local micro-enterprises and SMEs, in implementing the 2030 Agenda, in particular its responsibility for transitioning towards sustainable consumption and production patterns in Europe and worldwide; recalls that private financing can complement, but not substitute, public funding; calls on the Commission to promote binding obligations for corporate accountability and transparency in order to ensure that the private sector contribution is fully in line with the 2030 Agenda, by adherence to clear environmental, social and human rights standards and compliance with the principles of responsible financing and the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights; recalls, in this regard, the need for ex ante and ex post assessments of the development outcomes of engaging with the private sector;

15. Stresses that ensuring tax justice and transparency, fighting tax dodging, eradicating illicit financial flows and tax havens, together with improved public finance management, sustainable economic growth and increasing Domestic Resources Mobilisation, is crucial for financing the 2030 Agenda; calls for the EU to create a funding programme (DEVETAX2030) to specifically assist the establishment of tax structures in emerging market economies and to help developing countries to create new regional tax authority offices; reiterates its calls for a global financial transaction tax in order to tackle the global challenges of poverty, for an investigation into the spill-over impact on developing countries of all national and EU tax policies, and for the principle of PCD to be upheld when legislating in this field;

16. Underlines the importance of fair and ethical free trade agreements and urges the EU to frame its trade policy strategy in line with the 2030 Agenda, while respecting third countries’ policy space to regulate, in order to promote sustainable development, human rights, high social and environmental standards, sustainable consumption and regional integration, and combat poverty, corruption and inequalities;

17.  Takes note of the problems arising from the explosive growth of megacities and the challenges this phenomenon poses for social and environmental sustainability; calls for balanced regional development and recalls that galvanised economic activity in rural areas and in smaller towns and cities relieves the pressure to migrate to urban megacentres, thus alleviating problems of uncontrolled urbanisation and migration; stresses that decentralised regional structures promote the circulation of scarce nutrients, such as phosphorus, from towns and cities back to agricultural production;

18.  Calls on the Commission to promote sustainable global value chains with the introduction of due diligence systems for companies, with a focus on their entire supply chain, which would encourage businesses to invest more responsibly and stimulate a more effective implementation of sustainability chapters in free trade agreements, including anticorruption, transparency, anti-tax avoidance and responsible business conduct;

19. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to re-adjust their approach to migration with a view to developing a migration policy in line with SDG 10 and a fact-based perception of migrants and asylum-seekers and with countering xenophobia and discrimination against migrants, as well as with a view to investing in key drivers for human development; reiterates its concerns that the new policies and financial instruments to address the root causes of irregular and forced migration may be implemented to the detriment of development objectives, and asks for the European Parliament to be given a stronger scrutinising role in this regard so as to ensure that the new funding tools are compatible with the legal basis, principles and commitments of the EU, especially the 2030 Agenda; rejects the idea that conditionality of aid based on border control, the management of migratory flows or readmission agreements should constitute the basis of partnership and development cooperation with third countries;

20.  Welcomes the emphasis placed on investing in young people as the main implementers of the SDGs; stresses the need to harness the demographic dividend of developing countries by means of appropriate public policies and investment in youth education and health, including sexual and reproductive health and education; stresses the opportunity to finally advance gender equality and women’s empowerment as an essential element of PCD and urges the EU to mainstream these across all external action areas; recognises that these key enablers for human development and human capital need to be prioritised in order to guarantee sustainable development;

21. Welcomes the Commission’s proposal to establish an EU Multi-Stakeholder Platform with a role in the follow-up and exchange of best practices on SDG implementation across sectors; stresses the need for an inclusive process for consulting all stakeholders and civil society, in particular, as an active partner in the entire planning, implementation, monitoring and review process of the 2030 Agenda; invites the Commission and the Member States to invest in targeted education programmes and campaigns, in order to raise awareness of the 2030 Agenda among citizens.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

30.5.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

0

3

Members present for the final vote

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Ignazio Corrao, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Maria Heubuch, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Stelios Kouloglou, Arne Lietz, Linda McAvan, Vincent Peillon, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Elly Schlein, Eleni Theocharous, Paavo Väyrynen, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Anna Záborská

Substitutes present for the final vote

Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Frank Engel, Ádám Kósa, Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Paul Rübig, Judith Sargentini

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

19

+

ALDE

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Paavo Väyrynen

ECR

Eleni Theocharous

EFDD

Ignazio Corrao

PPE

Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Frank Engel, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Ádám Kósa, Paul Rübig, Bogdan Brunon Wenta

S&D

Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Arne Lietz, Linda McAvan, Vincent Peillon, Elly Schlein

VERTS/ALE

Maria Heubuch, Judith Sargentini

0

-

 

 

3

0

GUE/NGL

Stelios Kouloglou, Lola Sánchez Caldentey

PPE

Anna Záborská

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

European Parliament resolution of 12 May 2016. Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0224.

(2)

https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2016/goal-13/


OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (31.5.2017)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on EU action for sustainability

(2017/2009(INI))

Rapporteur: Ulrike Müller

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A.  whereas the EU and its Member States are all signatories to the Paris agreement, and, as such, committed to limiting global warming to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels;

1.  Welcomes the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its sustainability goals; calls for equal consideration of all three pillars of sustainability (social, environmental and economic); stresses that, while EU agriculture is already making a valuable contribution to sustainability through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), environmental requirements and cross-compliance, it still needs to adapt better on a global, European and national level to the more complex and interconnected trends and challenges that the world is currently facing, while paying particular attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

2.  Stresses the crucial contribution of the European agricultural sector to the achievement of the UN SDGs, in particular SDG 2 to end hunger, to guarantee food security and improved nutrition, and to promote sustainable agriculture; recognises, moreover, its relevance in contributing to other SDGs, such as the sustainable management of water (SDG 6), affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (SDG 7), sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth (SDG 8), sustainable production patterns (SDG 12), combating climate change (SDG 13) and the sustainable management of forests, halting and reversing land degradation, combating desertification and halting biodiversity loss (SDG 15);

3.  Emphasises the unique and complementary relationship between agriculture, the environment and food security; highlights, in this regard, the role that locally led agri-environmental schemes play across the Member States in fostering and enhancing this relationship;

4.  Calls on the Commission to encourage more efficient agronomic practices – such as agroecological and diversification approaches – and improved, sustainable agricultural resource management in the European Union and third countries, in order to reduce the input costs of agricultural production and nutrient wastage, enhance knowledge and innovation transfer, foster resource efficiency, and increase the diversity of crops and sustainability in farming systems;

5.  Notes that women working in farming in developing countries could increase farm yields by 20-30 % if they had the same access to resources as men; stresses that this level of yield could reduce the number of people who go hungry around the world by 12-17 %;

6.  Points out that the EU farming sector provides jobs for millions of people in rural areas in agriculture and in other sectors, guaranteeing food supplies and food security and attracting people to rural areas as a place in which to live, work and relax; points out, furthermore, that high biodiversity and high nature value landscapes attract people to the countryside, bringing added value to rural areas; notes the great value of rural development policy in building viable, robust and vibrant rural communities and economies; points out that better access for farmers to resources is essential in order to achieve this;

7.  Calls for farming to be developed by focusing on family holdings with the aid of a better use of European funds such as the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), and by paying special attention to small- and medium-sized holdings, by sharing and transferring expertise and by exploiting the advantages of local and regional value and production chains and regional employment, with greater emphasis on peri-urban links and direct sales, which have been a successful model in many parts of the EU; takes the view that the ability of farmers to generate fair remuneration from their labour is a prerequisite for the sustainability of European agriculture and a guarantee of farmers’ welfare;

8.  Believes that adequate levels of public investment must be ensured so as to guarantee lasting, sustainable and inclusive solutions;

9.  Stresses, in particular, the fundamental role of women as members of family farms, which constitute the main socioeconomic cell of rural areas, in caring for food production, preservation of traditional knowledge and skills, cultural identity and protection of the environment, bearing in mind that women in rural areas are also affected by wage and pension gaps;

10.  Recalls that it is important to guarantee proper public services, notably care for children and the elderly, given that such services are particularly important for women, since they have traditionally played a major role in looking after young and elderly family members;

11.  Welcomes the Commission’s commitment to take forward work on simplifying the CAP and asks the Commission to take duly into account any adequate proposals for further simplification and a goal-oriented approach;

12.  Points out the important role of traditional knowledge and foodstuffs, especially in outermost regions, mountain and disadvantaged areas of the EU, as well as the economic contribution that European quality schemes such as Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) bring to local areas; recalls Parliament’s unanimous support for extending such protection to a wider range of regionally produced goods; stresses, in this connection moreover, the role of EU quality schemes (PDO/PGI/TSG) in offering and maintaining livelihoods in those areas; recognises that these schemes are more widely known only in some Member States and calls for awareness to be raised across the Union on their advantages;

13.  Stresses the significance and potential of sustainable forest management in Europe (including non-wood resources), which secures jobs, generates added value and makes a crucial contribution to the achievement of biodiversity, climate and environmental protection targets; stresses the need to integrate the multiple uses of wood, so that the resource is sustainably developed in its entirety; points out, while noting that the EU does not have a common policy on forests, that forest management should meet the requirements drawn up under ‘Forest Europe’ (the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe);

14.  Stresses the important role of the sustainable production and use of timber and other forest-based materials such as cork and wood derivatives, including textile fibres, in the development of sustainable economic models and the creation of green jobs;

15.  Stresses the contribution of the Mediterranean forest and the dehesa agroforestry system – which seamlessly combines sustained, extensive livestock farming with farming and forestry activities – to the objectives of conserving and ensuring the sustainability of biodiversity, for the purposes of recognition and support under the CAP;

16.  Recognises the need for improved transportation and logistics for forest management and the extraction of timber; calls on the Member States, therefore, to develop sustainable logistical and logging systems which have a reduced impact on the climate;

17.  Stresses the importance of having a shared vision and a framework for action for all the Member States, with particular emphasis on the key drivers for developing sustainable agriculture, such as sustainable resources and climate policies;

18.  Stresses the importance of bioenergy to farms and the bioeconomy, and of installations, for the generation, storage, distribution and on-farm use of renewable energy, as they help to secure farmers’ incomes by offering them an additional product to sell, and both create and preserve high-quality jobs in rural areas; stresses that the development of bioenergy must be pursued sustainably and must not hamper the production of food and feed; stresses that energy needs should instead be met by encouraging the use of waste and by-products that are not useful in any other process;

19.  Notes that combating food waste and losses of food along the production and supply chain is an important aspect of sustainable development to which agriculture must contribute; stresses that, by using agricultural and food waste (where it cannot be used anywhere else) and manure, such as in biogas plants, bio refineries and the production of fertilisers, the bioeconomy is another tool which, as part of the circular economy, can be used to help reduce the environmental impact of farming, by reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants in the air, soil and bodies of water, and can also contribute to the more efficient and sustainable use of resources; highlights the importance of support under the second pillar for the introduction of technology, making it possible to use agricultural waste with a view to an efficient agricultural sector; calls on the Commission and the Member States to invest in this technology where appropriate;

20.  Underlines the importance of by-products of biofuel production as a regional source of protein-rich animal feed, of which in 2012-2013 around 70 % had to be imported from outside of the EU(1);

21.  Stresses the contribution that the livestock sector makes to the EU economy and to sustainable agriculture, particularly when integrated into arable production systems; draws attention to the potential of active nutrient cycle management in the livestock sector to reduce the environmental impact of CO2, ammonia and nitrate emissions; draws attention, furthermore, to the potential of integrated farming to contribute to a better functioning agricultural ecosystem and a climate-friendly farming sector;

22.  Notes that growing leguminous crops in arable rotation can deliver a win-win situation for farmers, animals, biodiversity and climate needs; calls on the Commission to come forward with a protein plan that includes leguminous crops in rotation;

23.  Regards further progress in precision farming, digitalisation, the rational use of energy, plant and animal breeding and the mainstreaming of integrated pest management as necessary, because increased efficiency based on SDGs and functional biodiversity will help to reduce both the land requirement and the environmental impact of farming; considers that getting biodiversity to work for farmers could help to improve income, soil health and performance, and help with pest control and improving pollinisation; highlights, therefore, the importance of an improved regulatory framework so as to ensure timely, efficient and effective decision-making procedures; highlights that these ‘smart’ solutions should incentivise and support initiatives tailored to the needs of smallholdings without economies of scale to benefit from new technologies;

24.  Considers it essential to maintain and develop the performance of traditional and local breeds, given their ability to adapt to the characteristics of their native environment, and for the right of farmers to breed plants autonomously and to store and exchange seeds of different species and varieties to be respected, in order to ensure the genetic diversity of agriculture; rejects attempts of any kind to patent life, plants and animals, genetic material, or essential biological processes, especially where native strains, varieties and characteristics are concerned;

25.  Considers that, in order to further encourage farming excellence and quality in Europe and to bring European agriculture into line with the 2030 Agenda, it is necessary to continue to focus on research, innovation and training and to invest in agricultural advisory services; highlights the importance of ongoing professional development in new technologies in order to drive efficiency and environmental sustainability; calls, therefore, for continued research and development in high- and low-tech applications and plant protection, including biological low-risk pesticides and biological control options, on the possibility of reducing the use of water and improving soil quality;

26.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with an action plan and to set up an expert group in order to work towards a more sustainable integrated plant protection management system; highlights the need for a pest management system that improves the interaction between plant breeding efforts, natural combat systems and pesticide use;

27.  Recognises the long-term challenges associated with sustainable agriculture and calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop a long-term investment plan, with continuity of funding, for basic and applied research; calls on the Commission and Member States, furthermore, to invest in training for specialists in sustainable agriculture and to provide the opportunity to consult experts;

28.  Believes it necessary to promote broadband availability and improve transport services in rural areas, so as to contribute not only to the achievement of environmental sustainability objectives but also to the promotion of growth in rural areas that is fully sustainable in environmental, economic and social terms.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

30.5.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

29

4

3

Members present for the final vote

John Stuart Agnew, Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Eric Andrieu, Daniel Buda, Matt Carthy, Viorica Dăncilă, Michel Dantin, Paolo De Castro, Albert Deß, Herbert Dorfmann, Norbert Erdős, Edouard Ferrand, Luke Ming Flanagan, Beata Gosiewska, Martin Häusling, Esther Herranz García, Jan Huitema, Peter Jahr, Ivan Jakovčić, Jarosław Kalinowski, Elisabeth Köstinger, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Philippe Loiseau, Ulrike Müller, Maria Noichl, Marijana Petir, Bronis Ropė, Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez, Ricardo Serrão Santos, Tibor Szanyi, Marc Tarabella, Marco Zullo

Substitutes present for the final vote

Bas Belder, Franc Bogovič, Hannu Takkula

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Christofer Fjellner

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

29

+

PPE

Franc Bogovič, Daniel Buda, Michel Dantin, Albert Deß, Herbert Dorfmann, Norbert Erdős, Christofer Fjellner, Esther Herranz García, Peter Jahr, Jarosław Kalinowski, Elisabeth Köstinger, Marijana Petir

S&D

Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Eric Andrieu, Paolo De Castro, Viorica Dăncilă, Maria Noichl, Ricardo Serrão Santos, Tibor Szanyi, Marc Tarabella

ECR

Bas Belder, Beata Gosiewska, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk

ALDE

Jan Huitema, Ivan Jakovčić, Ulrike Müller, Hannu Takkula

ENF

Edouard Ferrand, Philippe Loiseau

4

-

GUE/NGL

Matt Carthy, Luke Ming Flanagan, Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez

EFDD

John Stuart Agnew

3

0

Verts/ALE

Martin Häusling, Bronis Ropė

EFDD

Marco Zullo

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

https://polcms.secure.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/103924/Schaefer_BCEPHearing.pdf


OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education (15.5.2017)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on EU action for sustainability

(2017/2009(INI))

Rapporteur: Liadh Ní Riada

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Culture and Education calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Takes the view that securing a better future for everyone requires the introduction of culture as a fourth pillar of sustainability in the EU and beyond, since culture acts as a driver of innovation and behavioural change through the creation of new lifestyles and sustainable development paradigms and enables the development of the community-based and locally rooted approaches required for a local understanding of sustainable development;

2.  Acknowledges the need for innovation and creativity to ensure the more sustainable development of cities, regions and societies as a whole and provide answers to current societal challenges;

3.  Notes that active cultural participation encourages environmentally responsible behaviour, improves physical and mental health and wellbeing, facilitates intercultural dialogue, encourages respect for minorities and facilitates their social integration, improves school attendance and performance among young people, and therefore contributes to and facilitates the achievement of many existing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

4.  Calls, given the transversal and immensely valuable contribution of culture to individual and collective wellbeing and sustainable urban, rural and regional development, for the inclusion of a self-standing SDG on access to culture and active cultural participation;

5.  Recalls the specific role played by culture in external relations and development policy, in particular with regard to conflict resolution and prevention, peace-making and the empowerment of local populations; considers, therefore, that an ambitious and sound cultural strategy, to include cultural diplomacy, is needed to achieve a new consensus on development;

6.  Highlights the role played by culture and creativity in innovation, the creation of quality jobs, social cohesion and the development of a sustainable economy, including in terms of the urban regeneration of cities and the revitalisation of rural areas, for example; calls, therefore, for enhanced synergies between ESIF, EFSI and other EU programmes in order to fund culture-based projects and initiatives;

7.  Takes the view that cultural institutions and organisations should be innovators and models in the field of sustainability and with regard to green processes, especially in the field of cultural heritage, digitisation, tourism and touring artists; calls for the introduction of a green EU funding incentive to this end;

8.  A coherent, sustainable agenda requires the re-orientation of economic strategies and policies towards the creation of quality jobs, the promotion of a circular economy, the reduction of social inequalities and the adoption of a European Pillar of Social Rights; calls, therefore, on the Commission and the Member States to tackle poverty, child poverty in particular, invest in quality formal, informal and non-formal education and training, introduce a Skills Guarantee, and adopt a coherent and bold cultural strategy at all levels of government;

9.  Considers that fulfilling SDG 16 requires the active participation of citizens in decision-making at all levels; highlights in this connection the need to promote the active and civic participation of children and young people;

10.  Underlines the importance of inclusive, equitable and quality education, training, research and lifelong learning opportunities in addressing economic, social and environmental challenges and preparing a sustainable future; welcomes, in this connection, the EU’s intention to integrate the SDGs, and especially SDG 4 of the 2030 Development Agenda, in the European policy framework;

11.  Stresses that education and training are key to setting society on the path to sustainability; highlights the fact that sustainability education develops skills, knowledge and values that promote behaviour in support of a sustainable future; encourages Member States, therefore, to step up their efforts to implement sustainability education at all levels and in all forms of education and training;

12.  Recognises the role of civil society in raising awareness of the SDGs among the public and in addressing them at national and international level through global citizenship education and awareness-raising campaigns;

13.  Is deeply concerned about the differences in the performance of education systems in Member States, as shown by the latest PISA reports, and about the fact that between 2010 and 2014 investment in education and training fell by 2.5 % in the EU as a whole; stresses that properly resourced public education and training systems, accessible to all, are essential for equality and social inclusion and for meeting the targets set by SDG 4; stresses, nevertheless, that education remains a competence which falls to the Member States;

14.  Underlines the need for a more inclusive approach to financing education and training policies; calls, therefore, on the Commission and the Member States to mobilise and put to use all available instruments in order to secure smart investments in innovative teaching, training and learning aimed at improving the quality and relevance of skills and enhancing the performance of education and training systems;

15.   Recommends that, in the context of education, training and lifelong learning for inclusion and sustainability, Member States should consider improvements to education and employment policies in cooperation with the EU, in order to raise awareness of sustainable development and to ensure that learning enables people to make responsible decisions and builds capacity for future-oriented thinking; highlights that education and training and skills policies should not only be adjusted to labour market demands but should also promote personal and societal development in a holistic manner;

16.  Underlines the need to enhance coordination and to enable and optimise synergies between ESIF, EFSI and other EU programmes in order to improve and modernise the quality of education and training systems in Member States; stresses that populations in rural areas and remote regions shall have equal access to equitable quality education, training, and cultural and lifelong learning opportunities;

17.  Stresses that education is key to developing self-sustaining societies; calls for the EU to link quality education, technical and vocational training and cooperation with industry as an essential pre-condition for youth employability and access to qualified jobs; believes that addressing the issue of access to education in emergency and crisis situations in particular is crucial for both the development and protection of children;

18.  Regrets the persistent problem of high youth unemployment; recalls the importance of the Youth Guarantee schemes and the Youth Employment Initiative in addressing this problem; calls for their continued improvement and for proper financial support in order to promote the creation of new, high-quality jobs and decent social protection for young people, overcome the existing difficulties in engaging with vulnerable groups and reach non-registered NEETs and low-skilled young people more effectively;

19.  Highlights the role of education, both formal and informal, lifelong learning, sport, art and volunteering in learning about sustainability and fostering ecological citizenship, as part of a broader effort to equip young people with the relevant skills, competences and attitudes they need to become open and responsible citizens;

20.  Calls on the Commission to increase support for the health and well-being of young people when revising the 2018 EU Youth Strategy, with a particular emphasis on the timely implementation of the Action Plan on Childhood Obesity and the Action Plan on Youth Drinking and on Heavy Episodic Drinking;

21.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to protect regional, minority and lesser-used languages and linguistic diversity and to ensure that linguistic discrimination is not tolerated when integrating the SDGs into the European policy framework and current and future Commission priorities;

22.  Embraces the opportunities offered by the diversity of learning environments, such as eco-schools, centres for development education and outdoor learning;

23.  Calls for sustainability and ecological citizenship education to be mainstreamed across disciplines, in particular entrepreneurship education, including social entrepreneurship, and digital literacy and skills;

24.  Believes that cultural diversity and the protection of natural heritage should be promoted across the European policy framework, including through education;

25.  Considers that in a fast-changing economy, characterised by the increasing digitisation of societies and the robotisation and automation of jobs, a future-proofed sustainable agenda should be included as part of a broader reflection on occupational literacy;

26.  Recalls the power of quality education to empower vulnerable people, minorities, people with special needs and women and girls, in relation to SDG 4 and SDG 5 on gender equality and SDG 16 on promoting inclusive societies;

27.  Calls, in relation to SDG 3, for the promotion of further education in social cohesion, intercultural dialogue, and individual and collective wellbeing, including as a means to foster health literacy; highlights the particular opportunities offered by informal and non-formal learning in this field;

28.  Calls, in view of the need to promote further synergies between innovation and creativity in science, for the introduction of arts education in STEM subjects to promote STEAM education, particularly for girls, in order to address societal challenges in reaching sustainability goals;

29.  Recalls the need to support in addition the training of educators and trainers and to encourage peer-to-peer learning and the exchange of best practices at EU level and worldwide;

30.  Calls for financial support in the field of research, including through existing EU programmes such as Horizon 2020, in order to explore further the links between the arts, innovation and science, and the contribution of education and culture to sustainability;

31.  Calls for the development of indicators to measure the contribution of culture to existing SDGs and to monitor the new SDG on access to culture and active cultural participation, if introduced;

32.  Welcomes the proposal for the creation of a multi-stakeholder group; affirms the need to ensure the diversity of stakeholders actively involved in the group, including civil society, NGOs, grass roots organisations, youth workers, educators and cultural institutions;

33.  Underlines the need to provide proper support to local and people-to-people initiatives, as sustainable development must also be implemented at local level.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

4.5.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

0

3

Members present for the final vote

Isabella Adinolfi, Andrea Bocskor, Silvia Costa, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Giorgos Grammatikakis, Petra Kammerevert, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Curzio Maltese, Luigi Morgano, John Procter, Michaela Šojdrová, Yana Toom, Helga Trüpel, Sabine Verheyen, Julie Ward, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver

Substitutes present for the final vote

Norbert Erdős, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Sylvie Guillaume, Emma McClarkin, Marlene Mizzi, Liadh Ní Riada, Algirdas Saudargas, Remo Sernagiotto

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Florent Marcellesi

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

24

+

GUE/NGL

Curzio Maltese, Liadh Ní Riada

PPE

Andrea Bocskor, Norbert Erdős, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Algirdas Saudargas, Sabine Verheyen, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver, Michaela Šojdrová

S&D

Silvia Costa, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Giorgos Grammatikakis, Sylvie Guillaume, Petra Kammerevert, Marlene Mizzi, Luigi Morgano, Julie Ward

Verts/ALE

Florent Marcellesi, Helga Trüpel

ALDE

María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Yana Toom

EFDD

Isabella Adinolfi

0

-

-

-

3

0

ECR

Emma McClarkin, John Procter, Remo Sernagiotto

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

22.6.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

34

3

25

Members present for the final vote

Marco Affronte, Margrete Auken, Pilar Ayuso, Zoltán Balczó, Ivo Belet, Biljana Borzan, Lynn Boylan, Paul Brannen, Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Nessa Childers, Alberto Cirio, Birgit Collin-Langen, Mireille D’Ornano, Miriam Dalli, Seb Dance, Mark Demesmaeker, Stefan Eck, José Inácio Faria, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Francesc Gambús, Elisabetta Gardini, Jens Gieseke, Julie Girling, Françoise Grossetête, Jytte Guteland, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Jean-François Jalkh, Benedek Jávor, Karin Kadenbach, Kateřina Konečná, Urszula Krupa, Peter Liese, Norbert Lins, Gilles Pargneaux, Bolesław G. Piecha, Julia Reid, Frédérique Ries, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Davor Škrlec, Renate Sommer, Ivica Tolić, Adina-Ioana Vălean, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Damiano Zoffoli

Substitutes present for the final vote

Nicola Caputo, Albert Deß, Eleonora Evi, Elena Gentile, Anja Hazekamp, Mairead McGuinness, Ulrike Müller, James Nicholson, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Stanislav Polčák, Bart Staes, Tibor Szanyi, Keith Taylor, Tiemo Wölken

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Richard Corbett, Jan Keller, Constanze Krehl, Lieve Wierinck


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

34

+

ALDE

Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Ulrike Müller, Frédérique Ries, Lieve Wierinck

EFDD

Eleonora Evi

GUE/NGL

Lynn Boylan, Stefan Eck, Anja Hazekamp, Kateřina Konečná

NI

Zoltán Balczó

PPE

Sirpa Pietikäinen

S&D

Biljana Borzan, Paul Brannen, Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Nicola Caputo, Nessa Childers, Richard Corbett, Miriam Dalli, Seb Dance, Elena Gentile, Jytte Guteland, Karin Kadenbach, Jan Keller, Constanze Krehl, Gilles Pargneaux, Tibor Szanyi, Tiemo Wölken, Damiano Zoffoli

VERTS/ALE

Marco Affronte, Margrete Auken, Benedek Jávor, Davor Škrlec, Bart Staes, Keith Taylor

3

-

EFDD

Julia Reid

PPE

Pilar Ayuso, Elisabetta Gardini

25

0

ECR

Mark Demesmaeker, Julie Girling, Urszula Krupa, James Nicholson, Bolesław G. Piecha, Jadwiga Wiśniewska

ENF

Mireille D’Ornano, Jean-François Jalkh

PPE

Ivo Belet, Alberto Cirio, Birgit Collin-Langen, Albert Deß, José Inácio Faria, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Francesc Gambús, Jens Gieseke, Françoise Grossetête, Peter Liese, Norbert Lins, Mairead McGuinness, Stanislav Polčák, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Renate Sommer, Ivica Tolić, Adina-Ioana Vălean

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 28 June 2017Legal notice