- Samuelsson, Bo, 1942-, et al.
From Here to Sustainability – Is the Lisbon/Göteborg agenda delivering?
Rapport (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
- Executive Summary The European Councils held in Lisbon (2000) and in Göteborg (2001) gave the Union a new direction by establishing a long term strategy with sustainable development as the overarching objective. Sustainable development means, in this context, goals for economic, social and environmental policy, which are both mutually consistent and capable of delivering enhanced economic growth. To assure progress towards an agreed range of targets, the open method of coordination (OMC) has been adopted as the process for the implementation of the strategy. The strategy for sustainable development is a long-term one and, although the deadline originally set for the Lisbon agenda was 2010, it is clear that sustainable development has a much longer time-horizon and also that there is a global dimension to sustainable development, not just an EU one. In the run up to the mid-term review of the Lisbon strategy, this report by the European Panel for Sustainable Development, EPSD, offers an assessment of the EU approach to sustainable development. The report is based on official documents, research reports and background reports prepared by researchers from different disciplines. It concentrates on the EU-15 Member States, because the ten new members that acceded to the EU in May 2004 have not (yet!) been subject to the same commitments in relation to sustainable development. However, in future work by the EPSD, it is anticipated that the coverage will be extended to embrace all 25 Member States. The report starts with a discussion on the political process, followed by an examination of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the strategy, of the potential of new technologies, and of the results delivered by the Member States. The final chapters include discussions on impact assessment and the global dimension of sustainable development. The focus of the report is on: − The integration of the three dimensions of sustai nable development and the policies that affect them into one coherent strategy − The implementation of the strategy through the open method of co-ordination The main messages of the report are that it is vital to: • Maintain the original commitment to sustainable development as the overarching objective of the Lisbon strategy and improve the co-ordination between the three pillars of the strategy: the economic, social and environmental dimensions • Turn the present, fragmented strategy into an investment and growth strategy, focusing on fundamental technological change to boost competitiveness and improve the environment • Make employment the means for fostering social inclusion and sustainable pension systems by improving the mix between macroeconomic policies and active labour market policies • Develop a new policy mix for environmental policies with more focus on market based instruments • Confront the failures of Member States to deliver by setting customized trajectories for each Member State and further developing the open method of coordination to be an effective mix of hard law and soft law The EPSD is a network of universities and other research organisations. The aim of EPSD is to strengthen the role of the research community in the development of the European strategy for sustainable development. The EPSD is a joint effort by the University of Göteborg, Chalmers University of Technology, Lund University, the Charles University in Prague and the London School of Economics. The Centre for Environment and Sustainability in Göteborg, GMV, is the lead organisation. The EPSD is open to all research organisations that can contribute to high quality research of relevance to policy in the field of sustainable development. 1. The political commitment: Focus on better coordination The sustainable development strategy was formally launched at the Göteborg European Council of 2001, when the EU economic and social strategy from Lisbon was completed through the integration of an environmental dimension. Although the major objectives of the strategy have become clear, a first observation is that the strategy for sustainable development is far from a long term and stable framework for policymaking in the EU and in the Member States. On the contrary, the strategy, as presented in successive Presidency conclusions, seems to change from one presidency to another. A second observation is that the European Council has struggled to fulfil its own commitment to integrate the three elements - the economic, the social and the environmental – and to translate them into action. This lack of integration aggravates the organisational difficulties of implementing the strategy. A third observation is that there is an imbalance between, on the one hand, strong sector organisations for economic policy, employment and social policy and environment policy, and on the other hand, a weaker horizontal organisation that can integrate the three elements in a mutually supportive way and maintain a stable framework. A significant cause for concern is that the environmental dimension seems recently to have been regarded as less vital than, and subordinate to, growth and competitiveness priorities. The EPSD puts forward the following ideas for consideration as regards the political process behind the strategy: • The Lisbon strategy and the strategy for sustainable development are inextricably linked and it is, therefore, essential to counter an emerging tendency to separate them as strategic political objectives. The Constitutional Treaty provision, which states that the Union shall work for the sustainable development of Europe, should unambiguously be the basis for the EU´s long term economic development strategy. • There is a need to strengthen the political commitment by the European Council to sustainable development and concentrate on internal aims, rather than being overly obsessed by international comparisons • The environmental dimension should be included in the coordination mechanism agreed in 2003 under which economic policy and employment policy were streamlined under a new procedure covering a period of three years and presented in a new concise format with clear recommendations for policy action • Horizontal functions, in the Commission, in the Council and in national governments also need to be strengthened to ensure that all three dimensions are effectively integrated and made mutually supportive. Finding ways to do so should be a key concern of the High-Level Group chaired by Wim Kok. 2. The economic dimension: Turn the strategy into an investment and growth strategy The Presidency Conclusions from the Göteborg Summit emphasised that clear and stable objectives for sustainable development would present significant economic opportunities with a “potential to unleash a new wave of technological innovation and investment, generating growth and employment.” The Broad Economic Policy Guidelines, BEPG, from 2001, state that “sustainable development is a concept that goes beyond the purely economic assessment and strives for improvements in the quality of life by promoting coherent policy actions based on an overarching assessment of their economic, social and environmental dimensions. In doing so, it takes a long term view, looking at the welfare of both the present and the future generations”. The following observations and recommendations can be made on the integration of the economic dimension in the strategy. A first observation is that EU macroeconomic policy has not been able to provide the underpinning for structural change that the Lisbon and Göteborg agenda requires and anticipated. When the strategy was developed and agreed, an average economic growth rate of around 3 per cent was regarded as a realistic prospect for the coming years. If the Commission’s macroeconomic forecasts for 2004 and 2005 are taken at face value, growth in the five years 2001-2005 will have been just 1.6 per cent, barely half the rate on which the Lisbon-Göteborg strategy relies. A second observation is that the original idea of the EU strategy for sustainable development as an investment strategy has been touched upon in some of the EC Presidency conclusions and in the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines, for example in 2002, but still not developed as a central part of a growth strategy. A third observation is that refrom of tax systems and subsidies to integrate environment considerations into economic policy has been slow. Finally, financial markets play a pivotal role in the modern economy, and these markets can exert enormous leverage for any type of development of our society. However, there is very little discussion on the role of this sector in the Lisbon/Göteborg strategy. The exception is the Presidency Conclusions from Barcelona 2002, where the need to ensure that investment flows contribute to sustainable development is stressed. The EPSD puts forward the following ideas for consideration that: • The European Council should offer a lead in turning the present fragmented strategy into an investment and growth strategy, focusing on fundamental technological change: especially the replacement of old technologies with new technologies that can contribute to a decoupling of growth from pressure on natural resources. In parallel, renewed efforts are required to enhance the EU’s position in the next generation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and biotechnologies. • While welcoming the emphasis given to growth and the Lisbon Strategy in the Commission Communication on reform of the Stability and Growth Pact released on the 6th of September, the EPSD calls for a stronger focus in all economic policies (including the EU budget), on sustainable development. • A change in taxation and a reduction of harmful subsidies should be made a top priority and recommendations should be given to Member States to speed up this process • The potential for financial markets to underpin sustainable development should be explored and better exploited. 3. The social dimension: Make employment the means of alleviating poverty and dealing with the long-term pensions challenges Although social initiatives have existed since the founding of the EEC in 1958, the Lisbon European Council can be regarded as having launched the social dimension as an integral part of the overall strategy, calling for a modernisation of the European social model by investing in people and building an active welfare state. The three most prominent areas of social policy coordination are employment, social inclusion and pensions. The Lisbon Summit set the target of a 70 per cent employment rate by 2010. Employment growth has been modest during the first few years of this decade and only 6 million new jobs have been created since 1999. Continuing stagnation at the macroeconomic level has made it impossible to sustain a sufficient rate of job creation. In addition, there is a wide gulf between the Member States, with low employment rates, such as Italy and Spain, while the Nordic Countries, the Netherlands and the UK already meet the Lisbon target. The upshot is that the core Lisbon goal of full employment cannot plausibly be reached by 2010 for the whole EU. As regards social inclusion, the EU and the Member States have developed and started to implement a strategy with four priorities: facilitating access to employment, preventing social exclusion, supporting the most vulnerable in society From Here to Sustainability – Is the Lisbon/Göteborg agenda delivering? 8 Report no1, EPSD - European Panel onSustainable Development From Here to Sustainability – Is the Lisbon/Göteborg agenda delivering? Report no1, EPSD - European Panel onSustainable Development 9 and engaging all relevant actors in these tasks. Evaluation of the first two rounds of National Action Plans for social inclusion points out that tangible advances in policy have been made and that a momentum has been established. It is, however, considerably more difficult to point to evidence that social conditions have improved. The European Council has identified three priorities for pensions policy: safeguarding the capacity of systems to meet their social objectives, maintaining their financial sustainability and meeting changing societal needs. Pension reform is explicitly and symmetrically linked to the sustainability of public finances: reform of pensions will contribute to sound public finances, but sustainable finances will be needed to assure adequate pensions. Member States are undertaking a wide range of actions, but it is too early to assess whether these actions are having the desired effect A first observation stemming from the review of the social dimension is that the links from social policy to both macroeconomic aims and the other pillars of the sustainable development model are patchy, tentative and inadequate. Connections to environmental issues, especially, are largely absent. Another observation is that some of the harder aspects of labour market reform need attention, for example wage flexibility or a recasting of employment protection legislation. The EPSD puts forward the following ideas for consideration: • Changes in the social policy framework should be kept to a minimum; the process of policymaking can be adjudged to have worked reasonably well, but now needs to be translated into results • The complementarities between social policies and other policies should be more fully taken into account, focusing on employment as the means of alleviating poverty and dealing with long term pension challenges 4. The environmental dimension: Develop a new regulation mix The Sixth Community Environment Action Programme (EAP) gave priority to dealing with climate change, nature and biodiversity, health and quality of life and natural resources and waste, the four most difficult environmental challenges. the union/mankind is facing. The action programme emphazises the importance of mobilising all types of stakeholders and stresses the link between aims for the environment and growth and competitiveness aims. Although integration has moved to the forefront of the EU environmental policy debate, in practice progress has been slow in “greening” key economic sectors. So far, nine sectors have produced integration strategies, with very different results. The problem that remains is “how to make law work” and there is a dilemma about the balance between hard and soft law. The 6th EAP states that the EU shall promote sustainable development by using a blend of instruments, including market based and economic instrument. So far, relatively few non-traditional tools, such as Eco-Management and Audit Schemes (EMAS) have been applied in EU environmental policy. An innovative and flexible option is the IPPC Directive1 which lays down a framework requiring member states to issue operating permits for industrial installations that are considered as having a negative environmental impact. Such framework directives can shape the use of best available technologies (BAT) and strategies like best performance targets, enabling soft law to be turned into hard law. Through the continuous upgrading of the Directive’s BAT reference documents society is given a tool that can serve to move the legal level of BAT – through technological development – continuously upwards. Hence, the IPPC directive could be said to turn the principle of BAT into hard law, while at the same time keeping the flexible advantages of soft law. The Directive on greenhouse gas emissions trading will be the first overarching market based instrument used in the EU for environmental and sustainability purposes. When the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) starts in January 2005, the market – and not policy makers – will decide in which sector and in which industry emissions will be reduced. This will ensure that the emission reduction target will be met at the lowest possible cost and be a cost-effective way for Member States to comply with their Kyoto commitments. The ETS is the first ever international emissions trading system. A first observation is that although it is a very important first step, it is only a small one towards the much deeper cuts in emissions required to confront the challenges of climate change. Moreover, some governments have allocated permits that exceed current levels of emissions. If the cap is not tightened, the non-trading sectors would have to impose more stringent, and less cost effective, policies if the Kyoto targets are to be met. The fact that less than 50 % of the Union’s total CO2 emissions are affected by the trading scheme is in itself inefficient. The exclusion of emissions sources (e.g., households, transportation, agriculture etc) is expected to increase the costs of meeting the Kyoto targets, independent of the stringency of the national allocation plans. However, there are some practical reasons, e.g. problems with monitoring and enforcement, which suggests that this is a reasonable first approach. A second observation is that the emission trading scheme is key to making law work better for sustainability, but that other approaches have also been debated. One is to devise a stringent user perspective, based on environmental performance, as an instrument for achieving the best possible respect for the environment in the most rational and economic manner. The strategy can be seen as an improvement upon the BAT principle and the principle of substitution. The strategy of BAT is based on the technique which is presently available while the strategy of best performance is focused on reaching environmental targets through the development of new technologies. In this perspective, the IPPC Directive could be further elaborated and strengthened by an integration of the concept of best performance targets. The best performance strategy has the character of hard law in its normative claims and is combined with the flexibility of soft law when it comes to defining the means on how to comply with the prescribed standards or permits By putting forward “best performance” as an alternative to “best practice”, which is a new element introduced in the Environmental Technology Action Plan, it will be possible for decision-makers to set up research-based performance targets leaving investors to decide how to attain them. In this way the actor is enjoined to choose, from an environmental standpoint, the best way to arrive at the intended result. 1 Council Directive 96/61/EC Third, optimising the balance between law and voluntary action is an issue in promoting sustainable development. For example, corporate social responsibility has become a voluntary undertaking based on economic self-interest and has laid the foundation for progressively advancing and reinforcing what could have been secured by a juridical regulation. The function of legislation becomes that of defending the neutrality of competition, forcing companies to make technological advances and to innovate to remain competitive. The EPSD offers the following ideas for consideration as regards the balance between legislation and other policy instruments: • The mix of regulatory measures should reward the leaders rather than the laggards. • As a general principle, a stringent user perspective, based on best environmental performance should be preferred to the principle of “best available technology” or the principle of substitution. • Voluntary measures and tools could become highly efficient in promoting sustainable development, but only if they are linked to powerful economic incentives, such as public procurement. In the right framework, public procurement can optimise and strengthen the effect of environmental legislation and several environmental instruments. To make use of public procurement in this way will require more standardised information and reporting formats for purchase decisions. 5. Changing technology: boost competitiveness and improve environment Today’s technologies are incapable of solving increasingly urgent environmental problems like climate change. It follows that large investments in environmentally-friendly technologies are now needed, but it is important to stress that such investments will have substantial benefits for other dimensions of the sustainable development strategy, allowing simultaneous solution of problems in a manner consistent with the Brundtland conception of Sustainable Development. Opportunities will arise for pro-active companies with implications for job creation; both natural and human resources that could be used for other purposes will be released; and reduced pollution will have a positive effect on the health and well-being of European citizens. In the Lisbon European Council conclusions, great stress was placed on the need for the EU to boost its efforts in innovation and the utilisation of information and communication technologies (ICT), and to increase its receptiveness to technological change. At Göteborg, a further technological ambition was articulated, namely to exploit the potential for new environmental technologies and to unleash ‘a new wave of technological innovation and investment, generating growth and employment’. Rather than being a threat to environmental quality, as so many technological developments have been, new technologies would provide the means to boost European competitiveness while supporting environmental improvements. The aim was to make the EU the global leader in the development of the technologies that will underpin sustainable development. Environmental technologies are already in use in several sectors. Renewable energy sources account for 6% of total energy production. Wind energy and solar cells are the two fastest growing energy sources in Europe. Cars that only need 0.3 l petrol/10 km are in full scale production. Extremely energy efficient buildings are available on the market. Organic farming is growing. There are several good examples of environmental technologies. The main problem is, however, that the market shares for these more efficient technologies are very small, often too small to make a difference on the pressure on the environment. The pace of change in technology is neither enough to meet targets for the share of Renewables (RETs), nor to reach a satisfactory level of sustainability in a reasonable time. Against this background of strong political commitments yet slow introduction of new technologies, the Commission has developed a series of action plans or strategies for the development and implementation of different technologies, including the Environmental Technologies Action Plan; a Strategy for Europe on Life Sciences and Biotechnology and successive eEurope Action Plans. Complementing these specific actions is one of the Lisbon-Göteborg strategy’s key macroeconomic targets, which is to raise the rate of investment in R&D to 3% of GDP by 2010. To give substance to the 3% target, a further action plan on boosting innovation and R&D was launched in April 2003. The ETAP in particular can be seen as a substantial step forward towards the goals of the sustainable development strategy and the 6th Community Environment Action Programme. An important feature of ETAP is the fact that it underlines that all stakeholders in society are needed for a successful outcome. Furthermore, another strength of the ETAP-document is the broad and insightful range of recommended actions, all the way from R&D efforts in the form of e.g. Technology platforms, over “new” concepts like performance targets to economic incentives, global ambitions and procedures for evaluation. Since ETAP, in common with the other action plans, relies on the OMC, and has no specific Community funding, its success will depend on the interaction with other policies and on how it fits into the overarching Article 99 co-ordination framework articulated in the BEPGs. Also the way the structural and cohesion funds are used is very important, a point highlighted in the ETAP document. Support from the 6th and 7th Framework Programmes will be vital for advancing all the technology Action Plans. Even so, it is clear that the bulk of what can be achieved will inevitably be dependent on national initiatives. Decoupling is a major theme of ETAP and should be seen as one of the core elements of sustainability. In moving in this direction, it will be important to strike the right balance between technology in its own right and the regulatory, fiscal or other pressures, including the mobilisation of public opinion, that might help to accelerate progress. The EPSD offers the following ideas for consideration: • ETAP is an important development but it needs now to be reinforced by fulsome political support and commitment. The Commission should seek to deploy instruments of Community policy, notably the Structural Funds and the 6th and 7th Framework programmes in support of the ETAP and the other technology Action Plans. From Here to Sustainability – Is the Lisbon/Göteborg agenda delivering? 10 Report no1, EPSD - European Panel onSustainable Development From Here to Sustainability – Is the Lisbon/Göteborg agenda delivering? Report no1, EPSD - European Panel onSustainable Development 11 • Efforts should now focus more firmly on turning plans into tangible results. This should include bringing the undoubted merits of the many initiatives more explicitly into public discourse and engaging with the various stakeholders. • It is essential to find ways to break the logjam on key issues such as the Community patent. • Stronger recommendations are needed in the BEPGs about the potential for new technologies to advance all three pillars of the sustainable development strategy. 6. Bridging the delivery gap The Lisbon-Göteborg strategy for sustainable development is a EU framework for national action in the economic, social and environmental fields. In aggregate, progress on most of the targets of the strategy has been disappointing and many are now adjudged to be unattainable by the 2010 deadline set by the Lisbon EC. There is a consensus that the 70% employment rate target will not be met, R&D and innovation indicators look unlikely and there has even been backsliding on Kyoto commitments. While slow macroeconomic growth has clearly knocked the strategy off-course, it is not the only explanation. Member States are responsible for the translation of the strategy into national policies and for the implementation of these policies. This division of responsibility is a core element of the open method of coordination. Thus, the results of the different policies have to be measured at the national level. A first observation is that there is a considerable diversity among the Member States in the degree to which they are delivering on the L-G agenda and where they are falling short. Examination of a selection of headline indicators (GDP growth, R&D spending, employment rate and the Kyoto targets on reduction of CO2 emissions), shows that the Nordic countries emerge as the strongest performers on most of the agenda. Three of the large Member States – France, Germany and, especially, Italy, can be seen as Lisbon laggards, and in all three cases, slow growth has been a persistent problem. The UK fares well, except on investment in R&D. The data suggest that the four cohesion countries – Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain - have been making progress, helped by robust growth for all but Portugal; however, they are a long way behind in the R&D indicators and, for Greece and Spain, on employment. Elsewhere, Belgium and Luxembourg score poorly on the employment targets, while Austria has been slow in taking actions towards its Kyoto targets. Italy comes out worst across the board. There is a regional divide in Italy with extremely low employment rates in the South, but even allowing for this Italy’s overall record is very disappointing. A second observation concerns the effectiveness of the open method of co-ordination in relation to the performance of individual Member States. There appears to be a reluctance to lean too heavily on the laggards in public debate on delivery of the strategy. Rather, the Member States seem to want to maintain a diplomatic silence about their fellow members. Yet this points to a further dimension of delivery that warrants attention, namely whether a successful political process is being engaged. OMC is a new approach and is barely out of its infancy, so that it would be unreasonable to condemn it too quickly. But it does not appear to have achieved, or been allowed to achieve, the ambition of acting as a political mechanism to accelerate reform. The EPSD puts forward the following suggestions as regards the balance between the EU and the Member States in setting targets and implementing the strategy: • The extent of the overall slippage from the key targets need to be acknowledged and properly debated so as to focus political attention on the ramifications. • The use of the EU aggregate for common targets should be reconsidered. A possible solution here would be to set customized targets and trajectories (as with the Kyoto targets) for each Member States to converge towards the EU’s 2010 aims, an option that would make still more sense in the wake of the 2004 enlargement. • More attention should be paid to research on the effective combination soft law, as embodied in the open method of coordination, and hard law with the intention of identifying means of enhancing the quality of policy-coordination 7. Assessing the impact of the strategy Sustainability Impact Assessment, SIA, is a requirement for EU policies. In May 2002, the European Commission decided to replace a range of different assessment tools by a new Impact Assessment tool. The reason for doing so was the recognition that previous assessments often were too concentrated on a single sector and therefore unable to grasp the complexity of many issues related to sustainable development. The new system was launched in February 2003 and will be fully operational in 2004-2005. In the first year of operation 580 Commission proposals were reviewed and 43 of them selected for extended impact assessment. A review of the first year of IA (IEEP, 2004) reveals many shortcomings of the first year of application of the new impact assessments. The criteria for the selection of proposals for extended IAs have been unclear. There is a lack of transparency and a lack of stakeholder participation. The quality of the extended assessments has been uneven. Little attention is given to the integration of the different dimensions of sustainable development. Most attention is paid to economic impacts, but the treatment of environmental and particular social impacts is limited. Most attention is paid to short-term economic costs, yet few attempts are made to quantify longer-term environmental or social benefits. These may be teething troubles and it is to be hoped that the process of impact assessment is a learning process. However, there is yet no single, coherent methodology for impact assessment. Many different tools have been developed and applied, such as ‘backcasting’ and forecasting, with a great number of sub-categories, that include methods like Sustainable National Income (SNI), Genuine Saving, Environmental Sustainability Index, Ecological Footprint, Life Cycle Assessment, LSA, material flow analysis etc. There is clearly a risk that the multitude of tools available increases the risk of impact assessment being biased and difficult to compare. Thus, there is an evident need to develop harmonised approaches based upon best practice in order to avoid a proliferation of incompatible, partial approaches to ensure consistency. In recent years a new field, called sustainability science, has been established. What has become known as ‘sustainability science’ calls for schemes/techniques to be used, extended or invented to better understand the often complex, self-organising systems as well as responses of the nature-society system. In this quest for better research methodologies and approaches it is essential that research move beyond classical mono-disciplinary and even interdisciplinary lines to one trans-disciplinary in nature, an approach that becomes fully integrated in its problem solving efforts. The EPSD offer the following ideas for consideration as regards impact assessment: • Impact assessments should be further supported and be recognised as an important tool for improving policy planning and ultimately moving towards a system of adaptive management which means continuously revising targets and methods of attaining them; • Approaches and tools for making impact assessments should, to start with, be harmonised and best practice developed, and new comprehensive tools for impact assessments should be developed. In addition, the institutional capacity for applying them should be enhanced When it comes to action for the integration of sustainable development there are new initiatives in agriculture, fishery, transport and energy, that deserve attention: 8. The global dimension of EU sustainable development strategy Sustainable development is a global concept and when the EU strategy for sustainable development was shaped in Lisbon and Göteborg the global dimension was emphasised. The Presidency Conclusions stated that the strategy forms part of the Union’s preparations for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and that the Union will seek to achieve a “global deal” on sustainable development at the Summit. In a Communication “The World Summit on Sustainable development one year on: implementing our commitments” in December 2003 the Commission summarized its view on EU challenges and policy development after Johannesburg: • Internally, the key challenges for the EU will be to change unsustainable patterns of consumption and production to ensure that natural resources are managed in a sustainable way, with an ultimate goal of de-coupling economic growth from natural resource use and environmental degradation. • Externally, the EU’s credibility will depend crucially on the effective implementation of its international commitments. • Internal EU policies may have “spill-over” effects on other countries and may thereby undermine the objectives of EU policies, notably in the area of development cooperation. Thus, it is essential to achieve policy coherence, partly by assessing the various internal and external impacts of EU policies. A number of initiatives of importance for the global role of the EU have been taken during the last few years, including reform of the Common Agriculture Policy, fishery policy, energy and transport, biodiversity, chemicals, technology, trade policies and development policies. • However, as regards the main external policy areas, trade and ODA, the EU has not yet risen adequately to the challenges. While the EU strongly supports and also actively promotes member states to increase their ODA to the UN target of 0.7% of GNI by 2015, most member states are not delivering. Furthermore, very little is actually said on how to use the ODA.. A much stronger guidance of the EU is needed to make sure that ODA is untied and relevant for sustainable development of the recipient countries. Stricter rules on what should be considered ODA are also needed. Particularly in agriculture the pace of reform is much too slow; the EU will need to make a much more swift change in these systems, and also make strong efforts to convince the USA to follow. • As regards Kyoto, it is commendable that the EU is prepared to fulfill its commitment, even though the protocol is not formally enacted. However, without a true global partnership there is no possibility to stabilize the level of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere at a level that is compatible with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. EU must take leadership and create a global, “post-2012”, strategy for ambitious reductions of the global emissions of GHG.