EU Council adopts conclusions on climate change

EPA-EFE/JULIEN WARNAND

German State Secretary for the Environment Jochen Flasbarth (L) and Spanish Ecological Transition Minister Teresa Ribera (R) at the start of the Environment Council meeting in Luxembourg, October 9, 2018.

Environment ministers reiterate the EU’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and implementing ambitious policies.


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Ahead of COP24, the European Union environment ministers on October 9 agreed their position on climate change. The Council adopted conclusions on climate change that emphasize the unprecedented urgency, which is needed to step up global efforts to avoid the dangerous effects of climate change.

Climate change is happening and its effects are being felt all over the world, the Council said, adding that environment ministers are sending a strong political signal in these conclusions, which constitute the basis for the EU’s position at the forthcoming COP24 climate conference in Katowice, Poland, in December.

“Today we have underlined again that the EU will continue to lead the way in global action on climate action. The EU needs to play a crucial role in this important issue. Today’s conclusions give us a robust and consistent position for COP24,” the Council said in a press release.

EU environment ministers also reiterated the bloc’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and implementing ambitious policies. In their conclusions, environment ministers recall the progress made in recent months by the EU on legislation, which delivers on its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These include the new EU 2030 renewable energy target of 32%, the new energy efficiency target of 32.5%, the reform of the EU emission trading system, the emission reduction targets in sectors falling outside the scope of ETS and the integration of land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) in the EU’s climate and energy framework, the Council said.

Low-emissions and climate resilient growth is possible, the Council said, adding that the EU is continuing successfully to decouple economic growth from emissions. Between 1990 and 2016, the EU’s GDP grew by 53% while total emissions fell by 22.4%. The EU’s share of global greenhouse gas emissions fell from an estimated 17.3% in 1990 to 9.9% in 2012.

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