Thu. Jun 10th, 2021
Strategy on adaptation to climate change

The Council approved Council conclusions on forging a climate-resilient Europe – the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change.

The new climate adaptation strategy outlines a long-term vision of how the EU can become a climate-resilient society that is fully adapted to the unavoidable impacts of climate change by 2050.

Climate change is not just a future threat – it is happening now. We need to be better prepared for its consequences on human health, nature and the economy. Today’s conclusions set the ball rolling for enhanced adaptation action. The new strategy focuses on better data and better use of existing data, promoting nature-based solutions, integrating financial and economic considerations and stepping up action at international level. Climate has been a key priority for the Portuguese Presidency and we are pleased that the Council has today endorsed the new EU climate adaptation strategy which, together with the recently agreed European Climate Law, will help the EU to become climate-resilient and climate-neutral in the next decades.

João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Portuguese Minister for the Environment and Climate Action

The Council conclusions endorse the strategy’s aims to deepen and expand adaptation actions, with a strengthened focus on knowledge, financial and economic considerations, nature-based solutions, the international dimension and a role for insurance.

Batteries and waste batteries

EU ministers took stock of the progress made on the proposal for a regulation on batteries and waste batteries, presented by the Commission on 10 December 2020.

Batteries are a key element of the clean energy transition. The proposal to update EU legislation on batteries and waste batteries aims to reduce the environmental and social impacts of batteries throughout all stages of the battery life cycle – from sourcing materials to production, use, recycling and disposal.

The proposal aligns the current legislation with the European Green Deal, promotes circular economy and aims to ensure a high level of protection of health and the environment. It also aims to address discrepancies on the internal market due to uneven rules and information, by creating a level playing field for batteries through a common, clearer set of rules.

Zero pollution

Ministers exchanged views on the Commission’s communication on the EU action plan on zero pollution.

As a key element of the European Green Deal, the action plan sets out a vision for zero-pollution in the EU by 2050. It aims to reduce pollution in the air, water and soil and create a toxic-free environment. The Action Plan outlines key 2030 targets for various types of pollution and defines a number of actions and flagship initiatives to achieve the zero pollution ambition, including several ongoing and planned legislative proposals.

Other matters

The Presidency updated ministers on the state of play of discussions on the Aarhus regulation on access to justice in environmental affairs.  The Council reached a general approach on the proposal on 17 December 2020. Since then, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee has issued its advice on the Commission proposal and adopted its findings on a new case concerning state aid. Political trilogue negotiations between the Council and Parliament have started on 4 June 2021.

The Presidency briefed ministers on the state of play of discussions on the proposal for a decision on the 8th environment action programme. The action programme will serve as an overarching guide to European environmental policy until 2030. The proposal for a decision builds upon the European Green Deal and the list of actions detailed in it. The Council adopted its mandate for negotiations on 17 March 2021. After the European Parliament adopts its position, the Council and the Parliament will start trilogue negotiations to find a political agreement on the file.

The Dutch delegation, supported by Belgium and Luxembourg, drew the attention of ministers to preventing fraud in the biofuels sector. The Dutch delegation briefed ministers on the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance. The Estonian delegation presented information about a meeting of the international water convention. The Czech delegation, supported by Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, drew the ministers’ attention to the implications of the EU taxonomy for the transition to a sustainable economy. The Swedish delegation, supported by France and Luxembourg, drew the attention of ministers to the issue of reversing the decline of pollinators.

Finally, the Slovenian delegation presented the work programme for its upcoming presidency.

 

Meeting information

  • Meeting n°3800
  • Luxembourg
  • 10 June 2021

Preparatory documents

Outcome documents

Press releases