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Environment ministers to discuss climate change


Environment ministers to discuss climate change

EU videoconference
Photo: European Council

EU environment ministers are expected to discuss its climate change agenda today during an informal videoconference.

This first environmental meeting under the six-month Portuguese EU Council presidency will address the carbon neutrality strategy by 2050. The presidency will inform ministers on the state of the negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament on the European Climate Law. While EU heads of state agreed to back a 55% emissions reduction goal at their December summit, the Parliament has pushed for an ambitious 60% objective. Both sides have to agree on an objective to be incorporated into the climate law and become legally binding.

As Lisbon aims to pass a 2030 climate target into law by June, expect today’s meeting to stress the importance of coordination between the European bodies to achieve the EU’s CO2 cut target. In the medium-term, clashes between the Parliament and Council on whether to include a “carbon budget” of total emissions or fossil fuel subsidies might delay a political agreement on the climate law proposal. Discussions might include possible concessions to the Parliament, such as sanctions on EU countries breaching the rules or monitoring bodies to check compliance, to reach a consensus on reducing emissions on a fair target between 50 and 55%.

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