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Environment action programme to 2030

The 8th Environment Action Programme (EAP) will guide European environmental policy until the end of the decade.


The long-term priority objective is that, by 2050 at the latest, Europeans live well, within planetary boundaries and in a well-being economy where nothing is wasted. Growth will be regenerative, climate neutrality will be a reality, and inequalities will have been significantly reduced.

There are six priority objectives to 2030

  • achieving the 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target and climate neutrality by 2050
  • enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change
  • advancing towards a regenerative growth model, decoupling economic growth from resource use and environmental degradation, and accelerating the transition to a circular economy
  • pursuing a zero-pollution ambition, including for air, water and soil and protecting the health and well-being of Europeans
  • protecting, preserving and restoring biodiversity, and enhancing natural capital
  • reducing environmental and climate pressures related to production and consumption (particularly in the areas of energy, industry, buildings and infrastructure, mobility, tourism, international trade and the food system)

Enabling framework

In line with the European Green Deal’s oath to ‘do no harm', the 8th EAP supports an integrated approach to policy development and implementation. Article 3 of the action programme sets out the enabling conditions needed to achieve the priority objectives. Among others, it highlights the need for

  • a full implementation of existing legislation
  • significantly decreasing the Union’s material and consumption footprints
  • achieving environmental fairness
  • boosting sustainable finance
  • making use of economic and tax incentives to facilitate the sustainability transition
  • phasing out fossil fuel subsidies
  • developing a summary ‘beyond GDP’ dashboard
  • uptake by and cooperation at all levels of policy-making between different levels of actors
  • harnessing the potential of digitalisation
  • ensuring that policy action is firmly anchored in latest science and knowledge  

Monitoring and reports

On 26 July 2022, the Commission adopted a list of headline indicators to monitor progress towards the EU’s environment and climate goals, as foreseen in the 8th EAP. This monitoring framework will inform European citizens about the impact of EU climate and environmental policy and facilitate an exchange between policy-makers on where further efforts are needed, in order to stay within the safe and just limits of our planet. The headline indicators follow the structure of the 8th EAP building on the European Green Deal.

In line with article 4.4 of the 8th EAP and as outlined in the Communication, the Commission, supported by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) monitors, assesses and reports annually on progress on the priority objectives. Based on the selected headline indicators, the EEA assesses progress towards the 8th EAP objectives in annual reports published every December, from 2023 onwards.

A mid-term review was carried out on 13 March 2024 (under Article 5.1), which found that the EU’s objectives under the European Green Deal are attainable if the actions planned are fully implemented. It underlined the importance of meeting climate and environmental objectives also for their positive economic impact, including in terms of health, resilience, or autonomy in material use. The mid-term report added that although many planned actions, such as legislative changes, have been carried out, it is too early to assess their impact on the environment as they are yet to be implemented on the ground.

Some of the reviews key findings include:-

  • Notable progress on climate change mitigation and adaptation, such as the adoption of key legislation to achieve climate neutrality, in particular the EU Climate Law, the Fit for 55 package of legislation and the 2021 Climate Adaptation Strategy. However, it noted that faster progress is needed to meet the EU’s 2030 target of cutting GHG emissions at least 55% and achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
  • The effects of climate change on natural ecosystems, socio-economic sectors and people’s health and wellbeing already being felt, in particular, due to more frequent and intensive weather extremes events.
  • All actions under the second circular economy action plan have been delivered, including the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation, which must now be implemented on the ground.
  • The delivery of most actions under the zero-pollution action plan, in particular the revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive and the Soil Monitoring Law, but progress towards zero pollution on the ground is mixed.
  • Most actions set out in the biodiversity strategy have been completed, including a political agreement on the Nature Restoration Law, as well as an increase in designated protected land and marine areas.
  • Water scarcity now affects almost one-third of the EU population every year. This has a direct impact on the well-being of current and future generations and it is likely to further increase due to climate change and the increase in frequency and intensity of weather extremes.

A full evaluation of the 8th EAP is expected by 31 March 2029. This will be followed, if appropriate, by a proposal for the next environmental action programme by 31 December 2029 (Article 6).

The European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the Commission exchange views annually, based on the reports, on actions taken, and possible future actions.


Previous and upcoming actions.

  1. 13 March 2024
    Mid-term review of 8th EAP released
  2. 26 July 2022
    Commission adopts monitoring framework with headline indicators
  3. 2 May 2022
    8th EAP enters into force
  4. 2021
    Commission consults on monitoring framework with headline indicators

    As part of the preparation of a monitoring framework with headline indicators for the 8th EAP, the Commission will consult Member States and external stakeholders - find out more. 

  5. 14 October 2020
    European Commission presents proposal for 8th EAP
  6. 20 November 2013
    Adoption of the 7th EAP

    More information about the history of the EAP can be found on the 7th Environment Action Programme website