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EU report laments lack of progress on gender equality, climate goals

Gender inequality has grown in the European Union and no progress has been made overall in achieving climate goals, according to a new report on the bloc's Sustainable Development Goals.

EU's performance evaluated

In its 2020 report published on Monday, the European Union's statistical office Eurostat examined the implementation of the United Nation's development goals in the EU.

While most areas had improved, some were lagging behind, according to the report. It found that while the gender gap in employment had generally decreased between 2004 and 2014, it had widened again over the past five years.

"The EU has unfortunately moved away from the Sustainable Development Goals' objectives. Women are still less likely to be employed than men," Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said. "It is concerning."

The report attributed the widening gap to women shouldering the burden of caring responsibilities in their families.

More action is still required

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals were introduced in 2015 and set out 17 goals related to poverty, climate and society to be achieved by 2030.

And things are likely to worsen over the coming year, with recent statistics showing that the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately affected women's employment.

And when it came to climate change, while some improvements had been made in renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions, the report said surface temperatures and ocean acidity had nevertheless risen.

Extreme weather conditions had also caused economic losses more frequently over the past few years.

Gentiloni said the EU had pushed for more climate action to achieve the goals, but fallen short of its objectives.

"The consequences of this action are still insufficient," he said.

The European Union in the World