EU lagging behind on climate, gender equality goals

BRUSSELS (AP) - The statistical office of the European Union says the 27-nation bloc is lagging behind its goals in fighting climate change and promoting gender equality.
In a report released on Monday, which assessed the EU's progress towards meeting the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, Eurostat noted improvements in poverty reduction and health in the past five years.
However, little or no progress has been made on environmental objectives. Regarding gender equality, the report found that the EU "moved away" from the targets.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which contains 17 goals, was adopted at the 2015 United States General Assembly.
"Progress in achieving the EU's climate and energy targets has stalled, as has the shift to a circular economy," said Eurostat. "The pressure on ecosystems and biodiversity has therefore increased in some areas."
Paolo Gentiloni, EU Economic Commissioner, commented on the data during a press conference and highlighted efforts to narrow the gender pay gap. However, the report noted an increasing gap between men and women in education and in the labor market.
Gentiloni expressed concerns that the situation could worsen due to the blocking measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The stringent measures have plunged the EU into a colossal recession.
"We have to look at the ramifications of the months behind us," he said. "We should pay special attention to the gender gap in our work."
With regard to the political side of inequalities, Gentiloni was satisfied with the increase in female legislatures in national parliaments, but insisted that "there is still a long way to go".
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who was elected last year, has made the fight against climate change a priority. It also insists that gender equality is a key element of economic growth and has set up an equal team of Commissioners who are responsible for the implementation of their policies.
As part of its Green Deal project, which aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent in the world by 2050, von der Leyen also wants to provide a quarter of the EU budget for combating climate change.
"Yes, we made very good decisions. Yes, we are committed. Yes, we are at the forefront of the 2020 and 2030 targets, but we still have the consequences of climate change, "said Gentiloni." That is why the Green Deal is even more important. "
According to the Eurostat report, the block's CO2 emissions were reduced by 2.7 percent from 2013 to 2018, but temperatures continued to rise. The period from 2009 to 2018 was the hottest in Europe with an average temperature deviation of 1.6 to 1.7 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times.
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Follow all AP reporting on climate change issues at https://apnews.com/Climate

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