European environment ministers reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030.
EU environment ministers, meeting for an informal EU Environment Council meeting, organized by the Estonian Presidency of the EU Council, focused on eco-innovation and on international climate action.
14 July 2017: European environment ministers have reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 during an informal EU Environment Council meeting. The meeting focused on eco-innovation and on international climate action.
EU environment ministers and Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete discussed global developments on climate change, EU implementation of the Paris Agreement and the way forward. Ministers, as well as representatives from civil society, business and developing countries, identified expectations, opportunities and potential challenges related to fulfilling the goals of the Paris Agreement. They emphasized the role of international cooperation in effective climate action, including working with the private sector and local authorities to help reduce climate-related risks. In 2015, the EU and its Member States provided €17.6 billion for this purpose.
Siim Kiisler, Minister of Environment, Estonia, and meeting chair, noted that the programme of the Estonian Presidency includes: reforming the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS); reducing emissions in sectors outside the ETS; and advancing the EU’s Clean Energy Package to contribute to implementation of the Paris Agreement.
EU environment ministers also discussed eco-innovation and speeding up the transition to a more sustainable lifestyle through a “circular system,” where reusable and recyclable products are designed and marketed, with an emphasis on waste as a valuable resource, greener products, and smarter and more efficient processes. Ministers also addressed: the need for information about the environmental footprint of products and services; blue-green infrastructure projects, such as green roofing, open green spaces, constructed wetlands, and stream and river restoration; and the channeling of finances into sustainable activities. These efforts will help meet the objectives of Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDG 12) (responsible consumption and production), SDG 9 (sustainable cities and communities) and SDG 13 (climate action), among others.
The meeting convened in Tallinn, Estonia, on 13-14 July 2017 and was organized by the Estonian Presidency of the EU Council. [Government of Estonia Press Release on Cooperation and Climate] [Government of Estonia Press Release on Eco-Innovation] [Government of Estonia Press Release on EU and Paris Agreement] [European Commission Press Release] [Video of Press Conference with EU Ministers]