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Comillas calls for a doubling of efforts to achieve net zero emissions in the EU

The university reinforces its commitment to sustainability and signs an international manifesto on World Environment Education Day


26 January 2024

Today, World Environmental Education Day, Comillas Pontifical University has signed a manifesto in which, together with other UNIJES centres (University of Deusto, University of Loyola Andalucía, ESADE and IQS), it proposes ten urgent environmental actions that the new European Union leaders who come out of the polls in June should take into account in their environmental care policies. The document, promoted by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Europe (SDSN), is entitled "Towards a new European Deal for the Future: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in a Fragmented and Multipolar World", and proposes, among other things, "doubling efforts to achieve net zero emissions in the EU by 2050, with major breakthroughs by 2030", summarises Jesús Sánchez Camacho, director of the university's Integral Ecology Unit.

The manifesto recalls the "historical responsibility" of those who will govern us in Europe; the need for European institutions to enhance European democracy, social cohesion and prosperity; and the strengthening of the EU's global commitment to a cooperative world order. As Sánchez Camacho stresses, underlining the words of the manifesto, "decisive actions must be taken before 2030 to avoid irreversible environmental and dangerous social tipping points, and to maintain the possibility of achieving global goals, including the 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement".

The document, signed by a large group of scientists, civil society representatives and professionals from more than twenty European countries, calls on political parties and future leaders of the European Union "to lay the foundations for a new European Deal for the Future that responds to the multiple crises by implementing the 2030 Agenda with the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement in an ambitious, integrated and coherent way including a longer-term perspective for the EU until mid-century" . To this end, ten priority actions are identified for this European Agreement for the Future, which include reducing the risk of social exclusion, achieving zero emissions by 2050, strengthening the SDGs, supporting sustainable trade, reaffirming Europe's multilateral role and mobilising funds.

The manifesto recalls that none of the SDGs are on track to be achieved globally by 2030 and that 85% of the 140 revised SDG targets are either declining or showing very limited progress. And it mentions that humanity is "eroding the biological and physical resilience of the Earth's systems", which is "more likely to reach dangerous and irreversible environmental tipping points this decade".

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