Main results of Environment Council of 09 October 2018

Environment Council 2018

Mr Richard BRABEC, Czech Minister for the Environment. Copyright: European Union Event: Environment Council – October 2018

This article is brought to you in association with the European Couincil.

CO2 emission standards for cars and vans

Meeting in Luxembourg on 9 October, environment ministers succeeded in reaching an agreement on the proposed regulation on CO2 standards for cars and vans (recast). They agreed on the Council position on the text and set new targets for stricter CO2 emission standards.

By 2030, new cars will emit on average 35% less CO2 compared to the current emission standard limits. The agreement which we reached today is a solid basis on which to begin talks with the European Parliament.

Elisabeth Köstinger, Austrian federal minister of sustainability and tourism

Climate change and COP24

The Council adopted conclusions on climate change as part of the preparations for the UN Convention on Climate Change conference in Katowice in December (COP24). The conclusions aim at giving a strong political signal and narrative on the EU level of ambition in climate action. Ministers underlined that in order to achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement all countries must enhance mitigation action in coherence with, among others, sustainable development and the protection of biodiversity. At COP24, the EU will urge all parties to accelerate preparations for the implementation of their respective nationally determined contributions.

Biodiversity

Environment ministers adopted conclusions on biodiversity. The conclusions contain the main elements of the EU position in view of the COP14 of the Convention on Biological Diversity which will be held in Egypt in November. The conclusions also cover the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing. Ministers expressed their deep concern that the natural resource base and ecosystem services that humanity depends upon are at high risk and that most pressures driving biodiversity loss continue to increase.

CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles

In the afternoon, the Council held a live streamed policy debate on the EU’s first ever regulation on CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles. Ministers discussed the proposed CO2 emissions reduction targets for new trucks, buses and lorries. Ministers had an opportunity to express their views on the Commission proposal and discuss how to make progress towards reaching a common position.

Other topics on the agenda

In a public session, the Council had the opportunity to hear a presentation by the Presidency on the directive on single-use plastics.

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