Environment, health and economy in a single solution - FFT Ecology News

Environment, health and economy in a single solution

The European economy is still suffering from the economic crisis that began in 2008. Unemployment and wage cuts have affected millions of people. Does it make sense to talk about the environment when graduates cannot find a job in one of the wealthiest regions in the world? The EU’s new environmental action plan does exactly that, but it’s not only that. It also sees the environment as an integral part of our health and economy.

Our latest assessment shows that the way and speed we use resources is unsustainable. The natural resources we consume exceed the production capacity of the earth, and the level of pollutants we emit far exceeds the sustainable level in order to have a good ecosystem quality. The overall impact of our activities poses a threat to our health, the health of our planet and its ability to serve us. Only through long-term planning and concerted action can these challenges be met.

The EU recently approvedThe 7th Environmental Action Plan (7Ø on).

7Ø PAA contains the main objectives of European environmental policy by 2020 and introduces a long-term perspective to 2050 to solve the main problems. It is based on the principle that the economic prosperity and well-being of Europeans depend on the health of natural capital.

7Ø EAP is closely related to other European strategic frameworks, such as the 2020 European Strategy, the EU Climate Energy Package, the 2020 EU Biodiversity Strategy, the European Resource Efficiency Roadmap and the roadmap to achieve a competitive low-carbon economy by 2050.

How to define “good life”

Already in the title“Living well within the confines of our planet”, 7Ø PAA has undertaken the challenges and long-term goals we face. From an economic point of view, a good life means having a decent job to ensure sufficient income, but at the same time there are opportunities to obtain services and products. Physically, this means having a healthy life, free of disease, stress or noise, and having access to clean air and water. But to live a good life, we must make choices. These choices fundamentally determine our production and consumption.

Trying to solve our unsustainable consumption through legislative programs and awareness campaigns about the environmental impact of our choices seems to be meaningless, slow and impractical for many people. We can also disprove this view and ask ourselves whether it is realistic to think that we can go down this path forever. Our data and indicators indicate otherwise.

Action has begun

The European Union already has many rules aimed at achieving the priority goals contained in 7Ø EAP, including Habitat and Birds Directive, Marine Strategic Framework Directive, Air Quality Directive, Water Framework Directive And other measures to deal with climate change, chemicals, waste management, etc.

The EU budget has substantial allocations for the period 2014-2020 to support 7 related goalsØ PAA. However, EU member states have played a key role in implementing and improving the implementation of these directives and measures. These priority goals must be translated into specific initiatives and projects at the local, national and European levels.

Take a closer look at the city

With 7Ø PAA, the definition of environment is not limited to virgin forests and isolated white lakes. This is the core of our society: in our cities, 80% of European citizens live in these cities.

7Ø PAA is not only for green spaces and waterways in or around urban areas. Its broader strategic areas involve improving urban transportation, urban air quality, building energy efficiency, wastewater treatment, etc. Within a clearly integrated and interconnected vision of the quality of the (urban) ecosystem.

7Ø EAP is an important, timely and ambitious step towards the vision of the European Union in 2050, especially considering that it was adopted in the context of a prolonged economic crisis. By achieving its goals, we will not only have a healthier environment, but also make our economy, our family and our friends healthier. I look forward to seeing the results of its implementation.

Happy holidays and happy new year.

Hans Bruinnikks

executive director

Editorial published in December 2013 EEA Newsletter 2013/2

The European economy is still suffering from the economic crisis that began in 2008. Unemployment and wage cuts have affected millions of people. Does it make sense to talk about the environment when graduates cannot find a job in one of the wealthiest regions in the world? The EU’s new environmental action plan does exactly that, but it’s not only that. It also sees the environment as an integral part of our health and economy.

Our latest assessment shows that the way and speed we use resources is unsustainable. The natural resources we consume exceed the production capacity of the earth, and the level of pollutants we emit far exceeds the sustainable level in order to have a good ecosystem quality. The overall impact of our activities poses a threat to our health, the health of our planet and its ability to serve us. Only through long-term planning and concerted action can these challenges be met.

The EU recently approvedThe 7th Environmental Action Plan (7Ø on).

7Ø PAA contains the main objectives of European environmental policy by 2020 and introduces a long-term perspective to 2050 to solve the main problems. It is based on the principle that the economic prosperity and well-being of Europeans depend on the health of natural capital.

7Ø EAP is closely related to other European strategic frameworks, such as the 2020 European Strategy, the EU Climate Energy Package, the 2020 EU Biodiversity Strategy, the European Resource Efficiency Roadmap and the roadmap to achieve a competitive low-carbon economy by 2050.

How to define “good life”

Already in the title“Living well within the confines of our planet”, 7Ø PAA has undertaken the challenges and long-term goals we face. From an economic point of view, a good life means having a decent job to ensure sufficient income, but at the same time there are opportunities to obtain services and products. Physically, this means having a healthy life, free of disease, stress or noise, and having access to clean air and water. But to live a good life, we must make choices. These choices fundamentally determine our production and consumption.

Trying to solve our unsustainable consumption through legislative programs and awareness campaigns about the environmental impact of our choices seems to be meaningless, slow and impractical for many people. We can also disprove this view and ask ourselves whether it is realistic to think that we can go down this path forever. Our data and indicators indicate otherwise.

Action has begun

The European Union already has many rules aimed at achieving the priority goals contained in 7Ø EAP, including Habitat and Birds Directive, Marine Strategic Framework Directive, Air Quality Directive, Water Framework Directive And other measures to deal with climate change, chemicals, waste management, etc.

The EU budget has substantial allocations for the period 2014-2020 to support 7 related goalsØ PAA. However, EU member states have played a key role in implementing and improving the implementation of these directives and measures. These priority goals must be translated into specific initiatives and projects at the local, national and European levels.

Take a closer look at the city

With 7Ø PAA, the definition of environment is not limited to virgin forests and isolated white lakes. This is the core of our society: in our cities, 80% of European citizens live in these cities.

7Ø PAA is not only for green spaces and waterways in or around urban areas. Its broader strategic areas involve improving urban transportation, urban air quality, building energy efficiency, wastewater treatment, etc. Within a clearly integrated and interconnected vision of the quality of the (urban) ecosystem.

7Ø EAP is an important, timely and ambitious step towards the vision of the European Union in 2050, especially considering that it was adopted in the context of a prolonged economic crisis. By achieving its goals, we will not only have a healthier environment, but also make our economy, our family and our friends healthier. I look forward to seeing the results of its implementation.

Happy holidays and happy new year.

Hans Bruinnikks

executive director

Editorial published in December 2013 EEA Newsletter 2013/2