From Paris to Glasgow: the EU must drive climate action at home and abroad

(EurActiv, 18 Dec 2020) 2020 has been marred with pandemic, devastating wildfires and more frequent flooding, but it has also been a year of more ambitious climate targets. Now countries need to act on their pledges, writes Eliot Whittington.

Eliot Whittington is the Director of the European Corporate Leaders Group

This year has put all of us to the test. Governments, business, economies, communities, and health services have been stretched by the demands of a global pandemic.

And the deeper crises of climate change and biodiversity loss haven’t missed a beat, with impacts being felt and seen more tangibly – from longer and more devastating wildfire seasons and more frequent flooding, to the fact 2020 will be one of the warmest years on record.

While politicians grappled (and continue to do so), with the response to COVID-19, voices from business and NGOs, from policymakers and institutions began to be raised in warning against losing sight of the longer term threat from uncontrolled climate change, and against missing the opportunity we have to move forward.

But the year has delivered a series of positive signals that are more substantial than most of us could have hoped for.

Last year the Commission announced the European Green Deal, and the pandemic could have put that ambition into question, but instead it has been put at the centre of EU policymaking in a packed and active year.

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EurActiv, 18 Dec 2020: From Paris to Glasgow: the EU must drive climate action at home and abroad