EU pushes for increased environmental action

The European Union’s Environmental Council met this week to formulate solid action plans ahead of the COP27 on Climate Change negotiations as well as the December COP15 conference on biodiversity.  

The challenges facing the world in terms of protecting nature and limiting the effects of climate change are being brought to the fore by the EU’s Environmental Council.  

Following a meeting held on Tuesday 25th October, the council came away with solid negotiating mandates to be used during the COP27 next month in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, as well as at the COP15 conference, which will be hosted by Montréal in December.  

“The climate and biodiversity crises are intimately related, and we cannot tackle one without addressing the other,” said the executive vice-president for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans. “Setting targets is not enough: we need to move from ambition to action. With yesterday’s mandates, the Commission now has a solid basis for the final negotiations in Sharm- el-Sheikh and in Montréal.” 

At COP27, the EU will set out a scheme that includes adoption of the Mitigation Work Programme, which aims to end inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, phase down coal, reduce methane emissions and align targets with the 1.5°C goal.  

The EU is already implementing these policies through internal legislative work, and says it stands ready to increase its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) if appropriate, in line with the outcome of the ongoing ‘Fit for 55′ negotiations.  

Protected status for 30% of land and 30% of oceans by 2030

The EU’s aims at COP15 are to be leaders of the charge to officially protect 30% of land and 30% of oceans by 2030, and to follow up on EC President Ursula von der Leyen’s pledge to double the amount of external financing for biodiversity available to the world’s most vulnerable nations.  

EU Member States are currently the world’s single largest contributors to climate financing and they will take the opportunity of the two conferences to push other nations to step up their involvement, with the goal of reaching $100 billion for the cause by next year.  

“Our health, our wellbeing, our climate, our economy – they all depend on nature,” Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said. “We cannot waste time any more in losing biodiversity. We have to act now and I am glad that ministers from around the EU have united themselves and agreed on a common vision for our future and that of the planet.” 



Photo source: Guy Bowden for Unsplash