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2020: A critical year for climate and biodiversity

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Virginijus Sinkevicius arrives to his hearing at the European Parliament in Brussels, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019
Virginijus Sinkevicius arrives to his hearing at the European Parliament in Brussels, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019   -   Copyright  Francisco Seco/AP
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More than 90% of European citizens say protecting the environment is important to them and more than 80% believe it should be protected by legislation.

With this result the new EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, launched a new Global Coalition for Biodiversity at the World Wildlife Day in Monaco.

He says the latest results of the Eurobarometer are a clear signal for politicians to act.

"Political will is always there where society is clear and vocal. Take a Green deal or Paris agreement - it is not a coincidence that politicians reacted," Sinkevičius said.

Political will is not always enough, though.

The Executive director of the UN environment Programme points out the drivers of biodiversity loss. Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme told Euronews: "It is industry, it is agriculture, it is overfishing, it is infrastructure, it is overexploitation, invasive species. Each of these are the areas that we need to talk about and get commitments."

And the timing is important, says Prince Albert II of Monaco, who hosted the high-level event in the principality - among the first in a series of climate events in 2020.

"This year is an especially important year, we have different major events around the world, the IUCN World Congress in Marseille in June, the COP15 Convention on Biological diversity in Kunming, China this autumn, the Ocean conference in Lisbon, Portugal and also the climate change conference in Glasgow. All these major event are great opportunities to bring a more concentrated focus on natural areas, on biodiversity," he said.