Eurostat documents ‘negative developments’ in the EU on SDG 15 | News | SDG Knowledge Center

Eurostat has published a monitoring report on progress towards the SDGs in the EU. The report finds that over the past five years the EU has made progress towards most of the SDGs, and although progress on some goals has been faster than on others, “the shift away from Sustainable development has only occurred in a few specific areas, including biodiversity and ecosystem conservation.

Eurostat’s assessment indicates significant progress on five SDGs. The greatest progress, he notes, has been made on SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions). The share of the EU population reporting crime and violence in their communities has increased from 13.2% in 2015 to 10.9% in 2020. In addition, more people consider their country’s justice system to be sufficiently independent, which represents an increase from 50% in 2016 to 54% in 2021.

Managing the impact of the economic shock caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine must not make us lose sight of our objective of transforming the EU’s economic model.

— Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for the Economy

Although the report documents significant progress towards reducing poverty and social exclusion (SDG 1), it acknowledges that available data “does not yet fully reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”. It also notes significant progress on: innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9); the economy and labor market (SDG 8), with the employment rate rising to 73.1% in 2021, exceeding pre-pandemic levels; and clean and affordable energy (SDG 7), although a UN press release notes that the report does not reflect recent increases in energy prices and other impacts of the war in Ukraine.

Eurostat highlights “some clearly negative developments”, which translates into a “slightly negative goal-level assessment” on SDG 15 (life on land). According to the report, over the past five years, ecosystems and biodiversity have remained under pressure from human activities. Although there have been slight increases in EU forest area and terrestrial protected areas, “pressures on biodiversity from land use, including soil sealing by impermeable materials” , continued to grow, leading to habitat loss. Like previous assessments, the report confirms that the conservation status of biodiversity and ecosystems in the EU is unfavorable and that EU consumption patterns have significant negative impacts on biodiversity.

Report notes moderate progress in health and well-being (SDG 3), life below water (SDG 14), gender equality (SDG 5), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11) ), reducing inequalities (SDG 10), responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), quality education (SDG 4), climate action (SDG 13) and zero hunger (SDG 2). It provides a ‘neutral’ assessment of EU progress on SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals) and SDG 6 (drinking water and sanitation), given an ‘almost equal number of sustainable developments and unsustainable.

Released on 23 May 2022, the report is the sixth in a series of annual monitoring assessments launched by the EU Statistical Office in 2017. Based on a set of indicators developed to track progress towards the SDGs in In a European context, it aims to provide a benchmark to assess whether the EU has made progress towards the goals over the past five and 15 year periods. [Publication: Sustainable development in the European Union: 2022 Monitoring Report on Progress Towards the SDGs in an EU context] [Publication Landing Page] [European Commission Press Release] [UN in Western Europe Press Release] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on the 2020 Report]

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