26 Oct 2015
ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL RESULTS – 26 OCTOBERBrussels Daily
The Council held a debate on the review of the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS), the main tool of the EU’s climate policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In general terms, ministers welcomed the Commission’s proposal. They highlighted that the reform is an important step in the legislative implementation of the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels). Member states’ contributions will serve as an orientation for the future work on the proposal.
Ministers also had an exchange of views on how to ensure that the environmental dimension plays a full role in the European Semester process. Specifically, they highlighted the need to phase out environmentally-harmful subsidies and they debated how to better ensure the implementation of environmental policies and legislation.
The President of the Environment Council, Luxembourg Minister Dieschbourg, said : « We need strong, efficient and coherent policies in order to deliver on our goals. In this sense, it is really important to tackle harmful subsidies and make sure the EU ETS delivers and play its role in achieving the EU’s ambitious climate goals ».
During their joint lunch with ministers for Development and Cooperation and with High Representative Mogherini, ministers discussed how to put in practice the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Following this debate, environment ministers continued discussions focusing on the environment angle of the 2030 agenda.
Regarding the issue of emissions from cars, the Council was informed about measures taken in the wake of the scandal regarding the manipulation of emission control devices in cars. In this context, ministers highlighted the need to finalise as soon as possible the rules on real driving emissions tests.
Carole Dieschbourg added: “The car industry has a huge credibility problem which also affects our health and environment and the EU reputation. We need the new tests and better governance very soon.” Read results in full here