20 Jun 2016
ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL RESULTS – 20 JUNEBrussels Daily
Main results (results in full here)
The Council adopted a statement on the ratification of the Paris Agreement. The global legally-binding agreement on climate change was adopted in December 2015 in Paris. It will enter into force after ratification by 55 countries representing at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Dutch Minister for the Environment and President of the Environment Council, Sharon Dijksma, said: “With this statement we want to send a clear political message on the EU’s commitment to address climate change. We are determined to ratify the Paris agreement as soon as possible and to work for effective implementation of the deal”.
Ministers also took note of the presentation by the Commission of the proposal for the conclusion of the Paris Agreement by the EU.
Furthermore, they held a policy debate on the review of one of EU’s main tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change: the emissions trading system (ETS).
Ministers took stock of discussions on new rules and limits for air pollutants, the so-called NEC directive. The presidency informed ministers of the state of play of negotiations with the European Parliament.
The Council adopted conclusions on the action plan for a circular economy. This plan aims to reduce waste and keep the value of products, materials and resources in the economy for as long as possible. The conclusions support this aim and demonstrate commitment to this transition towards a more sustainable model, for instance by cutting resource use, boosting recycling and better managing waste.
The Council adopted conclusions supporting the EU’s action plan against wildlife trafficking. The Council expressed deep concern about the increase in illegal wildlife trafficking and its detrimental effect on biodiversity and sustainable development. The conclusions call on all actors to step up efforts to combat this crime.