On 31st July 2022 the Commission presented a list of headline indicators which will be used to monitor progress towards the EU's environment and climate goals to 2030. The list follows the Monitoring framework of the 8th Environmental Action Programme and is a result of consultations with stakeholders and Member States. The headline indicators include the 2-3 most policy relevant and statistically robust indicators for each of the thematic priority objectives to 2030, covering climate mitigation, climate adaptation, circular economy, zero pollution, and biodiversity.

In addition, the list includes five indicators to measure progress towards addressing the main environmental and climate pressures. The set also includes indicators to monitor progress towards the main enabling conditions, covering sustainable finance, the ‘polluters-pay principle', and phasing out environmentally harmful subsidies. The last chapter of the monitoring framework includes systemic indicators that aim to capture progress towards the three dimensions of environmental wellbeing, to cover also economic and social aspects beyond nature protection.

The Commission will report annually on the progress made, based on stocktaking done by the European Environment Agency from 2023 onwards, with the help of the selected headline indicators. This reporting will facilitate an annual exchange between the Commission, the Member States and the European Parliament to be held in accordance with the 8th Environmental Action Programme. A mid-term evaluation will be published by 31 March 2024, and a full evaluation by 31 March 2029. This will be followed, if appropriate, by a proposal for the next environmental action programme by 31 December 2029.

Many indicators listed impact the Agri-food chain in general as well as our industrial sector, with particular reference to those under climate change mitigation, environmental and climate pressures related to EU production and consumption, but also enabling conditions and living well within planetary boundaries. CEMA welcomes the communication, which should help assess the success of EU policies, and reiterates the need to carry comprehensive impact assessments  when preparing such ambitious strategies.

The full Communication can be consulted HERE.