04 Mar 2016
ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL RESULTS – 04 MARCHBrussels Daily
MAIN RESULTS BELOW – Read full Outcome of the Council meeting
Paris Agreement on climate change
Ministers discussed the follow-up to the Paris Agreement on climate change and its implications for EU climate policy. They highlighted the need to keep alive the Paris momentum and to focus now on theimplementation of commitments, including those laid down in national pledges.
A timely implementation of the EU 2030 climate and energy framework was seen as an important sign of the EU’s commitment to the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Ministers also emphasised the relevance of swift ratification of the agreement. A summary of this debate will be sent to the President of the European Council.
The Dutch Minister for the Environment, Sharon Dijksma, current President of the Environment Council, stated: “In Paris 195 countries adopted the historic climate agreement, a true turning point to limit the temperature increase and to prevent risks posed by climate change. Now member states will make it a reality by taking concrete actions at EU and national level.”
The Council held a debate on the EU action plan for the circular economy, part of a package which also includes four legislative proposals on waste. The aim of the package is to stimulate Europe’s transition towards a circular economy, more sustainable and competitive than the current model. It introduces measures to cut resource use, reduce waste and boost recycling.
Ministers expressed their support for the action plan and identified priority actions from an environmental point of view. They also discussed complementary measures to be taken at the national level and stressed the need to make the most of the action plan and to monitor progress. Their debate and the one held earlier this week at the Competitiveness Council will feed into a set of conclusions planned to be adopted in June.
“The EU and governments must work closely together with business and NGOs to make the circular economy work. Today the EU ministers successfully discussed how we can foster demand for recycled materials and the need of coherent legislation to promote innovation”, said Minister Dijksma.
The Council adopted a statement concerning a recent ruling regarding endocrine disruptors (chemicals that can interfere with the hormonal system). The General Court considered that the Commission failed to specify in due time scientific criteria for these substances.
The statement underscores the importance ofurgent action by the Commission to comply with the judgement and its legal obligations, in order to prevent any further delay in developingscience-based criteria for endocrine disruptors.