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The Danish Presidency Paves the Way for a Green Transition for the EU

11-06-2012 16:54:00

The main elements of the Council's conclusions on the 7th Environment Action Programme are an ambitious and compelling 2050-vision, faster implementation and strengthening of environmental policy and law, concrete targets and a transition towards a green economy.

Photo: Council of the European Union
Envi council meeting

Environment Ministers adopted Council Conclusions on the content of the 7th Environment Action Programme in Luxembourg today. The Conclusions set an ambitious course for environment policies for the next decade.

The 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP) is of high priority for the Danish Presidency. The Presidency followed up on initial discussions held during the informal ministers meeting in April where EU Environment Minister discussed the content of the 7th EAP for the first time during the Danish Presidency.

The Council adopted Conclusions on the content of the 7th EAP thereby sending a clear message to the Commission that the Council wants a 7th EAP which sets a strong political direction for environmental policies towards 2020 and beyond. The main elements of the Conclusions are an ambitious and compelling 2050-vision, faster implementation and strengthening of environmental policy and law, concrete targets and a transition towards a green economy. Despite reluctance on a few issues the Council managed to reach agreement on strong Council Conclusions.

The President of the Environmental Council Ida Auken says:

“I am thrilled that we have adopted ambitious council conclusions today which set the course for the political direction of environmental policies for the next decade. A green Europe is one of the main priorities of the Danish Presidency, and through the adoption today we have taken an important step towards faster implementation of the EU environmental legislation, towards adopting new environmental legislation, and not the least  a green transition of the EU economy.
This is a great day for the environment of Europe. The countries of the world are meeting in Rio in a few days and with today´s decision the EU will be sending a strong signal on creating a resource efficient green economy”.

The environment ministers of the EU have today decided that the 7th Environment Action Programme will be the overarching strategic framework of the EU´s environmental policy. The programme will be based on an ambitious 2050 vision. There will be targets for 2020, and progress will be monitored.

Through the council conclusions adopted today the Environment Council is asking the Commission to come forward with actions on a wide range of topics, for instance urban environment, chemicals, climate adaptation and water. On top of this the Council is asking the Commission to come forward with proposals for a green transition – decoupling of economic activities for resource use, phasing out of environmental harmful subsidies, green procurement, and development of new and better ways to access progress GDP.
The Commission will launch a proposal for a new EAP by the end of this year.

Mandate for COP11

The Danish Presidency was instrumental in getting a strong mandate for the upcoming negotiations at COP 11 - The Convention of Biological Diversity, which will be held in Hyderabad, India from 5-19 October 2012.

The President of the Environmental Council Ida Auken says:

"The EU is a key player in the conservation of biodiversity globally, regionally and nationally. I am pleased that we were able to agree on a strong mandate for the upcoming negotiations, as the EU not only are the largest contributor with funding to conserve biodiversity, but we are also the leader that takes action when action is needed. I know the negotiations at COP 11 will be difficult in the light of the global financial crises, but I am proud to say that the EU will not shy from its responsibility and will continue to be a key player in conserving biodiversity globally."