Who is Paying the Bill?

Despite its commitment to the 2030 Agenda, the EU largely ignores the negative impacts that some of its policies and practices have on other parts of the world, a new major report published by SDG Watch Europe concludes: 

‘Who is paying the bill? (Negative) impacts of European policies and practices in the world’.

On average, the EU has one of the world’s worst environmental footprint per capita, with our unsustainable lifestyles based on resource and labour exploitation in other parts of the world.

The economy of the future needs to take into account the environmental and social impact beyond our borders rather than living in the illusion of a low-carbon, resource efficient Europe that exports resource-intensive and polluting production to other parts of the world. Policy coherence for sustainable development requires to fully take into account the externalities and spill-over effects of European policies, production and consumption patterns.

Taking policy coherence into account also means closely monitoring the spill-over effects and set goals to limit them. Eurostat does not include externalities in their SDG reporting and they do not work with any indicator on spill-over effects.

This report focuses on some important policy areas where there is an urgent need for action as external effects of European policies are not sufficiently taken into account.

“Who is paying the bill?”  is now available for download. Please click here:

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