Sustaining the Future

By Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment, writing on the Broker Online:

“Recent decades have seen great strides in two closely related challenges: the battle against poverty around the globe, and efforts to protect our planet. The role of the European Union has been significant: as the world’s biggest development donor, we have helped enrol more than 13 million children in schools, brought life-saving vaccines to 18 million children, and provided more than 70 million people with access to water. We have also been a driving force in building consent to preserve biodiversity, fighting climate change and protecting natural capital.

Despite these achievements, pressing challenges remain. Eradicating poverty and ensuring that prosperity and well-being are sustainable are formidable tasks. Too many people still live in unbearable conditions, struggling for food, clean water and basic health.  Most of the world’s poorest depend directly on their environment for their livelihoods. This makes them even more vulnerable to the economic consequences of natural resource degradation, biodiversity loss, pollution and the effects of climate change. These problems are often interconnected, and they need to be addressed by all countries together.”

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