Environmental cooperation of the European Union and the United States moved a step forward with the official visit of Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius to Washington and New York.
To increase awareness of key Green Deal priorities, the Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries held discussions with US counterparts and various stakeholders on pressing areas under the environment and oceans agendas in the run-up to the major global events and negotiations scheduled in 2022-2023.
During the visit, the Commissioner underlined the urgency of reducing excessive use of natural resources which fuels current environmental and climate threats. He urged the United States to join forces with the EU and the international community to advance multilateral measures.
“None of us can afford to ignore the triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. And none of us can tackle it alone. As two major global economies, the EU and the US need to work even closer together to transform the way we run our economies and set high social and environmental standards to improve people’s lives and health across the Atlantic”, emphasised Mr Sinkevičius.
“I am happy we have a shared understanding of the urgency and the tools to stop nature’s decline, both on land and at sea. Jointly, the EU and the US will be strong advocates on the international stage for moving to a circular economy, putting nature on a path to recovery, decarbonising our economies and fighting against plastic pollution”, he added.
In a key meeting with Michael Regan, Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, the EU and the US identified a number of shared priorities including circular economy, biodiversity, deforestation, sustainable finance, pollution, plastics and polar issue.
Both the EU and the US have set a target of protecting at least 30 per cent of their land and sea areas by 2030. In discussions with his counterparts, the Commissioner explored further areas of action, such as nature restoration, environmental protection in the Arctic, the geopolitical ramifications of the ocean and environmental protection, adopting nature-positive agricultural practices and ending harmful subsidies.