EU Environment Ministers have held two days of talks in Dublin on a range of climate change and environmental issues as part of a broad ranging discussion on the green economy. The Informal Environment Council meeting, hosted by the Irish EU Presidency, highlighted opportunities for growth in a low carbon and resource-efficient economy. In particular, it focused on the single market for green products and also agreed on the need for a broader greening of the European economy including improved eco-design, better regulation, and better approaches to waste management. Read more…
Ministers discussed the European Commission’s recent Communication on Building the Single Market for Green Products in a Resource Efficient Europe, which seeks to improve environmental information and awareness among consumers and make it easier to ‘buy green’. The Irish Environment Minister, Phil Hogan, who chaired the meeting, said Ministers broadly welcomed the Commission’s proposals on making environmental labelling and information more accessible, thereby stimulating more demand for green products and services.
The meeting also considered a more global perspective on the green economy. Ministers agreed that sustainability could only be achieved by decoupling unsustainable resource consumption in the developed world while at the same time supporting developing countries in eradicating poverty and moving towards resource-efficient growth. There was particular emphasis on how the EU could take a leading role in advancing the green economy and resource efficiency agenda at a global level.
On the issue of climate change, Ministers discussed the Commission’s Consultative Communication on the 2015 International Climate Change negotiations and how the EU could work with other stakeholders to achieve maximum participation in the new agreement, due in 2015. Mr Hogan also welcomed the Commission’s recent publication of the EU Climate Adaptation Strategy. He confirmed the Irish Presidency’s intention to move ahead with the European Council’s consideration of the strategy, with a view to agreeing Council Conclusions for the Environment Council meeting in Luxembourg in June.
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