Environment Council: extracts from the intermediary EU Presidency / EC press conference
Première transmission: 15/03/2010
Brussels, Belgium - EC
Fin de production: 15/03/2010
On March 15, the Environment Council adopted conclusions on biodiversity setting a vision on biodiversity protection in the EU for 2050 and new headline target for 2020.
Global biodiversity remains under severe threat, with losses occurring at 100 to 1000 times the normal rate, says the Commission.
The EU set itself the objective of halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 at the Göteborg European Council 2001. Yet it is increasingly clear that this target will not be met, despite an extension of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas and major investments in biodiversity, according to the Commission. The Council set a new EU headline target for the protection of biodiversity by 2020 and defined its vision for protecting biodiversity until 2050.
The Council exchanged views on the renewed EU 2020 strategy for growth and job.
Ministers also dealt with the issue of soil's protection where a blocking minority of countries still exists.
'There are more opposition on the basis of the principles of subsidiary than anything else said Janez Potocnik, EC member in charge of Environment.
Over lunch, Ministers will discuss key elements of the negotiations for an international agreement to combat climate change and exchange views on the recent Commission communication, ahead of COP 16.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Elena Espinosa Mangana, Spanish Minister for Environment, Rural and Maritime Affairs, and Janez Potocnik, Member of the EC in charge of Environment
||SOUNDBITE (in SPANISH) by Elena Espinosa Mangana, saying that she would like to stress two points in particular, on one hand, the Council's conclusion in the area of biodiversity for the post 2010 period. The conclusions were adopted unanimously, and there will allow them to continue to work within the European Union, with a long term vision up to 2050. But they are also setting themselves some interim objectives for 2020.
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) by Janez Potočnik, Member of the EC in charge of Environment: Today's conclusions which are setting clear targets and clear vision are the right step, into the right direction. This is the year where we want to establish also our base lines, our targets, where we want to develop a convincing strategy, how we can truly deliver not to fail again. And it is the year where in October 2010, we will have international negotiations in Nogoya.
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) by Janez Potočnik: I think it was obvious today that the blocking minority is still existing, and that, in a way, that probably, we will have to think and rethink what is the best to do. And as you said yourself, there are more opposition on the basis of the principles of subsidiary than anything else. There are mentioning of the fact that while water and air do move across the border, and that soil do not move across the border, I think that it is obvious to everybody that this is true but, on the other hand, that is very much connected either with, for example climate change or biodiversity, which are, today, recognized as the issues which should be dealt at the EU level.
||SOUNDBITE (in SPANISH) by Elena Espinosa Mangana, saying that basically, this is what they will be dealing with this afternoon, the potential adopting of Council's conclusions dealing with climate change. And the idea will be that they will pass this conclusions to the European Council, that will take place in the next few days, and that will then deal with the issue of fast-start financing.
||General view of the press room