Credit: Marco Verch / Creative Commons

The roaring 2020s? Gearing up to stop environmental and climate catastrophe in the new decade

Dramatic social and political change in many parts of the world characterised the ‘roaring 1920s’. And with this century’s ‘20s just two years away, a major conference will hear why the post-2020 period must also be a time of transition – but this time to a system where we live within our planet’s limits.

On 5 November the European Environmental Bureau will host its annual conference in Area42 in Brussels to bring together leading voices from diverse environmental and social movements. In the run-up to the 2019 European elections, a host of speakers will discuss why the environment must be given higher priority during the next five-year parliamentary term than it has been during the current one.

The conference will discuss the need to remain within ‘planetary boundaries’ – a long stated yet unmet goal of European environmental policy.

Ian Carey, Communications Manager at the European Environmental Bureau, said:

“We’re certainly at a crossroads moment in the EU. The 2019 elections are an opportunity to make a break with the current Commission’s determination to deregulate and throw out the shared rules and regulations that protect European citizens, their rights and the environment they live in. Our conference will be a rallying cry from civil society to election candidates across the EU to champion fair rules made in the interests of people, the planet, the voiceless, responsible business – and most importantly – future generations.”

In particular, the conference will focus on how Europe needs to up its game when it comes to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the world’s ‘crisis plan’ EU governments signed up to back in 2015. The European Commission is under increasing pressure to submit a report to the UN in summer 2019 on the bloc’s progress on the 17 UN goals to end poverty and protect the planet. Civil society groups warn the EU is way off track to meet the SDGs by 2030.

Other topics covered at the conference will be: the main threats to nature on land in our oceans; the impact of hazardous substances on human health and the environment and how to move away from toxic production and consumption patterns; and, how EU countries must do more to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

The conference will close with a session on building stronger coalitions between progressive forces from all parts of civil society, trade unions and business.

Register here for the EEB’s annual conference.