EU makes progress on reducing poverty, but slow on climate action

EU makes progress on reducing poverty, but slow on climate action
Climate march in Brussels, 2019. Credit: Belga

The European Union has made significant progress towards various sustainable development goals, however, more work is needed when it comes to sustainability and climate action, a recent Eurostat report stated.

According to the report, which provides a statistical overview of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the EU, the bloc made progress towards most objectives over the last five years. This progress was faster for some than for others, but there was an overall shift away from the sustainable goals in some areas.

"Managing the impact of the economic shock caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine must not lead us to lose sight of our goal of transforming the EU’s economic model," Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, said.

"It must instead galvanise us to redouble our efforts to boost our resilience and the sustainability of our production processes and everyday activities. In this collective effort, the SDGs remain both our compass and our measure of success."

Slow sustainable progress

Although the EU has made progress towards some goals in line with the Commission's European Green Deal, progress towards creating sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), responsible consumption and production (SDG 12) and climate action (SDG 13) was slower.

The same was true for reduced inequalities (SDG 10), quality education (SDG 4), and zero hunger (SDG 2).

Meanwhile, as was the case in previous years, the EU continued to make the most progress towards fostering peace and personal security within its territory, as well as improving access to justice and trust in institutions (SDG 16), along with reducing poverty and social exclusion (SDG 1).

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Importantly, the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is not yet reflected in the 2022 SDG report, given that the necessary data are not yet available.

Eurostat, the official statistical office for the EU, predicts that NextGenerationEU (adopted by the Commission in response to the pandemic) and the reforms and investments envisaged by Member States in their Recovery and Resilience Plans will "make a major contribution to achieving the SDGs in the EU in the future."

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