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The Council adopted conclusions entitled “Building a Europe resilient to climate change – The new EU climate change adaptation strategy”.

Environment Council, 10 June 2021

Main results

Climate change adaptation strategy

The new climate change adaptation strategy sets out a long-term vision of how, by 2050, the EU can become a climate-resilient society, fully adapted to the inevitable effects of climate change.

Climate change isn’t just a future threat: it’s happening now. We need to be better prepared for its consequences for human health, nature and the economy. Today’s conclusions open the way to strengthened adaptation measures. The new strategy focuses on better quality data and better use of existing data, the promotion of nature-based solutions, the integration of economic and financial considerations and the strengthening of international action. Climate change has been a key priority for the Portuguese Presidency and we are pleased that the Council today endorsed the EU’s new climate change adaptation strategy which, together with the recently agreed European Climate Law, will enable the EU to be climate resilient and climate neutral in the coming decades.

João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister of Environment and Climate Action of Portugal
The Council conclusions support the objectives of the strategy to strengthen and scale up adaptation measures, with particular emphasis on knowledge, economic and financial considerations, nature-based solutions, the international dimension and the role of insurance.

Watch the recording of the public debate
Council endorses the eu’s new climate change adaptation strategy (press release, 10/06/2021)

Batteries and their waste

EU ministers took stock of the progress made on the proposal for a regulation on batteries and their waste, presented by the Commission on 10 December 2020.

Batteries are a fundamental element of the clean energy transition. The proposal to update EU legislation on batteries and their waste aims to reduce the environmental and social effects of batteries at all stages of their life cycle, from the extraction of materials to production, use, recycling and disposal.

The proposal aligns existing legislation with the European Green Deal, promotes the circular economy and aims to ensure a high level of health and environmental protection. It also aims to address internal market discrepancies due to disparity in rules and information, creating a level playing field for batteries through a clearer set of common rules.

Watch the recording of the public debate
Batteries and their waste – Progress report (28.5.2021)

Zero pollution

Ministers exchanged views on the Commission communication on the EU Zero Pollution Action Plan.

The Action Plan, a key part of the European Green Deal, sets out a vision to achieve the goal of zero pollution in the EU by 2050. It aims to reduce air, water and soil pollution and create an environment free of toxic substances. The Action Plan sets key targets for 2030 for different types of pollution and defines a number of flagship actions and initiatives to achieve the zero pollution target, including several planned and ongoing legislative proposals.

Watch the recording of the public debate
Presidency Reflection Paper (28/05/2021)

Other matters

The Presidency updated ministers on the discussions on the regulation on the implementation of the Aarhuss Convention on access to justice in environmental matters. The Council reached a general approach on the proposal on 17 December 2020. In the meantime, the Compliance Committee of the Aarhus Convention has delivered its opinion on the Commission’s proposal and has adopted its conclusions on a new State aid case. Tripartite political negotiations between the Council and Parliament began on 4 June 2021.

The Presidency briefed ministers on the state of play of the discussions on the proposal for a decision on the Eighth Environment Action Programme. The action programme will constitute a general orientation for European environmental policy until 2030. The proposal for a decision is based on the European Green Deal and the list of actions it contains. The Council adopted its negotiating mandate on 17 March 2021. Once the European Parliament adopts its position, the Council and Parliament will start trilogue negotiations to reach a political agreement on the dossier.

The Dutch delegation, with the support of Belgium and Luxembourg, drew the attention of ministers to the need to prevent fraud in the biofuels sector. The Dutch delegation briefed ministers on the Alliance for the Decarbonisation of Transport. The Estonian delegation had presented information on a meeting of the International Water Convention. The Czech delegation, with the support of Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, pointed out to ministers the implications of the EU taxonomy for the transition to a sustainable economy. The Swedish delegation, with the support of France and Luxembourg, raised with ministers the question of reversing the decline in the number of pollinators.

Finally, the Slovenian delegation presented the work programme of its incoming Presidency.

Watch the recording of the morning session
Watch the recording of the afternoon session

Fountain: European Council. Council of the European Union