Environment ministers held exchange of views on the new EU strategy on adaptation to climate change during their informal videoconference on 18 March.
Ministers agreed with the three main objectives of the strategy, by emphasizing that adaptation to the unavoidable negative impacts of climate change (such as drought, heatwaves, floods) should be smarter, swifter and more systematic. Achieving these objectives would help Member States build a climate-resilient economy and society. Ministers stressed the importance of the availability of data on climate-related risk and losses, risk assessment and engaging the private- and insurance sector. The strategy also aims at stepping up international action, helping third countries on adaptation to climate change. In this context, ministers also highlighted the importance of international finance. The Presidency informed ministers about the state of play on the political negotiations between the Council and European Parliament on the European climate law. This new legislation will set the higher CO2 emissions reduction target for 2030 and the climate neutrality goal for 2050.
Environment Ministers exchanged their views on the appropriate deployment of the European resources in the framework of the European Semester to address the unprecedented health, economic and social consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, and to contribute to the Green Transition. Environment Ministers also set the course for the further discussions on the draft of the Battery Regulation with a view to promote “electromobility”, to contribute to the achievement of climate targets and to boost the transition to a more circular economy where the waste can replace raw materials.
The Presidency informed ministers about the approval of the council conclusions on Sustainable Chemicals Strategy of the Union. These conclusions demonstrate strong political commitment from the EU, towards sustainable transformation of the life cycle of chemicals, on a Union and international level as well. Conclusions also point out, that the best way forward would be starting the implementation of the Strategy adopted by the Commission in October 2020. Ministers were also briefed about the state of play on the 8th environment action programme. The Council has adopted a mandate and ready to start negotiations with the European Parliament on this matter.