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EU lagging behind on climate, gender equality goals

EU lagging behind on climate, gender equality goals

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s statistical office says the 27-nation bloc is lagging behind its goals in the fight against climate change and to promote gender equality.

In a report published Monday assessing the EU’s progress in reaching the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, Eurostat noted improvement in reducing poverty and improving health over the past five years of data.

But only slow progress, or no overall progress at all, was achieved toward environmental objectives. As for gender equality, the report noted that the EU has “moved away” from the goals.

The 2030 agenda for sustainable development, which contains 17 goals, was adopted in 2015 at the U.N. General Assembly.

“Progress towards the EU’s climate and energy targets has in part stalled, as has the shift towards a circular economy,” Eurostat said. “Pressures on ecosystems and biodiversity have therefore been increasing in some areas.”

Commenting on the data during a press conference, European Commissioner for economy Paolo Gentiloni pointed to efforts to reduce the gender pay gap, but the report noted a widening gap between men and women in acquiring education and on the labor market.

Gentiloni expressed concerns that the situation could worsen because of the lockdown measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The stringent measures have plunged the EU into a recession of colossal proportions.

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