EU behind in meeting key environmental targets.

Position:EYE ON EARTH - Brief article

The European Union has fallen behind in meeting several critical environmental targets, according to an annual assessment released in March.

The EU uses 37 core indicators to measure progress in achieving region-wide goals in the areas of agriculture, climate change, pollution, biodiversity, and resource use. The 2008 assessment reveals that, "in most areas there has been little improvement, with only one indicator showing positive progress towards reaching EU targets." Performance is lagging in such areas as renewable electricity generation, urban air pollution, and protection of biodiversity and fisheries.

One reason for the failing grades is poor environmental performance in new member states, mostly in Eastern Europe. Yet much of the notable progress is also found there. For instance, in 2005 the EU's original 15 countries generated 14 percent of their electricity from renewable...

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