The EU Environment Council agreed on the common position for the Warsaw Climate Conference

15 October 2013, Last updated at, 08:59 EEST
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The EU Environment Council agreed on the common position for the Warsaw Climate Conference

The Environment Council agreed today, October 14, the Council Conclusions defining the common position of the European Union for next month’s Climate Change Conference in Warsaw. The Council, which was chaired by Lithuania’s Minister for Environment, Mr. Valentinas Mazuronis, also deliberated two important legislative proposals and discussed on the future development of the Green Infrastructure. 

The EU Environment Ministers met in Luxembourg today, in what was the first Environment Council meeting under the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU. Ministerial discussions focused on the Council Conclusions on Preparations for the 19th conference of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 9th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (Warsaw, 11 - 22 November 2013).

“Warsaw this year and Lima next year will be the last stages before reaching the so long-awaited global climate change agreement in Paris in 2015. It is crucial that we start laying the basis for success in Paris already now” – said Minister Mazuronis.

“We will need to implement what we have already agreed, most notably to ratify the Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol that establishes greenhouse gas reduction commitments from 2013 till 2020 as soon as possible. Enhancement of pre-2020 mitigation ambition would contribute to an ambitious 2015 international agreement and therefore there is a need for Ministers to engage in discussions on the issue. We will need to use some creative thinking in order to advance work on the design of the 2015 agreement,” stressed Mr Mazuronis.

The Council today negotiated and adopted the Council Conclusions on the basis of the compromise proposal of the Presidency. The Conclusions will enable the Lithuanian Presidency, who will be leading the European delegation in Warsaw, and the European Commission to present the united EU position at the Warsaw Climate Conference.

The Council has deliberated on two legislative proposals during today’s sessions. In the morning session ministers have exchanged their views on the proposed amendments to the Regulation on shipments of waste. During the debate ministers focused on the scope of the proposal and considered the balance between a minimum level playing field and the necessary flexibility. The views of the ministers provided valuable guidance for further work on the proposal.

Ministers also discussed on the draft regulation to define the modalities for reaching the 2020 target to reduce CO2 emissions from new passenger cars. The Council has examined the final compromise text of a draft regulation and agreed, that it will seek the first reading agreement and that it intends to maintain overall balance and the environmental integrity of the June trilogue outcome. The Council supports, that the Presidency contacts the European Parliament and together with European Commission in limited time explores the possibility to find limited additional flexibility, in order to seek a satisfactory solution for all while maintaining overall balance of the text of the agreement.

The ministers’ lunchtime debate on green infrastructure based on a discussion paper prepared by the Lithuanian Presidency, highlighting support for the Commission's initiative, and recalling the conclusions of the Informal Environmental Council of July 16th on the importance of ensuring sufficient financing for Green Infrastructure, both at EU level and in operational programmes and on the need for new partnerships to secure further investments in natural capital. 

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