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Environment
News article2 December 2021Directorate-General for Environment

Commission welcomes political agreement on the 8th Environment Action Programme

The Commission welcomes the provisional agreement reached yesterday between the European Parliament and the Council on the 8th Environment Action Programme. The 8th EAP anchors the Member States’ and Parliament’s commitment to environmental and climate action until 2030, guided by a long-term vision to 2050 of wellbeing for all, while staying within the planetary boundaries. The agreed 8th EAP builds on the European Green Deal.

Welcoming the agreement, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said:

The 8th Environment Action Programme is the EU’s joint programme for implementing the European Green Deal on the ground until 2030. It enshrines in a legal framework EU environment and climate objectives, as well as a mechanism to monitor progress “beyond GDP”. This further strengthens our collective capacity to tackle the interlinked crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution in order to create a truly sustainable future for the generations to come.

The agreed 8th EAP has six priority objectives related to climate neutrality, climate adaptation, circular economy, zero pollution, protecting and restoring biodiversity, and reducing environmental and climate pressures related to production and consumption. In addition, the programme sets out an enabling framework and a monitoring framework to measure progress towards the required systemic change.

Background

Environment action programmes have led the development of EU environment policy since the early 1970s.The 8th EAP aims at accelerating the green transition in a just and inclusive way, with the 2050 long-term objective of “Living well, within the planetary boundaries”, already established in the 7th EAP. The European Commission presented its proposal for "a Decision of the European Parliament and the Council on a General Union Environment Action Programme to 2030" on 14 October 2020, before the expiry of the 7th EAP at the end of 2020. The 8th EAP sets a legal framework to ensure that EU climate and environment laws are effectively implemented by putting forward enabling conditions and setting up monitoring to measure economic performance and societal progress “beyond GDP”, and moving towards using well-being economy. It forms the EU’s basis for achieving the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.

Next steps

The European Parliament and Council will confirm the provisional agreement through the respective channels. The text will undergo lawyer linguists revisions before being formally signed into law and being officially published in the Official Journal of the European Union.  

Details

Publication date
2 December 2021
Author
Directorate-General for Environment