A European mission:

Responsibility

Preserving our planet is one of the greatest challenges for politics and society. Global warming,
resource waste, plastic refuse in the ocean – these are all problems we must solve. This is our
responsibility to future generations. But climate and environmental protection is an effort to
which individual countries can only contribute. It is the task of the EU to coordinate sustainable
policy in Europe and to ensure the success of global efforts such as the Paris climate
agreement. U.S. renunciation of international cooperation on climate protection has made
Europe’s voice that much more important. The EU is essentially on the right path. For instance,
Europe has presented an ambitious plan for reducing CO2 emissions by 2050. The EU is also
trying to improve the design of its emissions allowance trading system. And on the international
stage, the EU is looking for partners who will continue the fight against climate change in the era
of U.S. President Donald Trump. In short, European politics is doing much to live up to its
responsibility to protect the environment.

Policies require clear goals

And the EU must not dissipate its climate and environmental policy efforts. The regulation of
lightbulbs or drinking straws does have a well-founded idea behind it, but these bans often
meet with hostility from citizens and damage the EU’s image. That is why Europe’s policies
must never lose sight of proportionality. Policies can and must get better at meeting people
where they are and leading them on the path to a sustainable society. A significant task of the
EU member states involves motivating their citizens to become active in the efforts for more
environmental and climate protection in Europe. The situation is similar for European
companies. Businesses often find themselves confronted with detailed environmental protection
requirements that are overwhelming and contradictory. But industry in particular should be
involved in climate and environmental policy. Europe can make an important contribution to a
more environmentally friendly economy far beyond the EU’s borders. The technological
expertise is available. But companies need space to be innovative and develop clean solutions
for the environment.