The first meeting of the Environment Council of the EU under the Greek Presidency discussed, inter alia: climate change; genetically-modified organisms (GMOs); the Annual Growth Survey 2014, including how to improve the uptake of green economy priorities in national reform programmes; and a clean air programme for Europe.
Regarding climate change, the Council addressed: ‘A policy framework on climate and energy for the period 2020-2030;’ and the need to prepare for negotiations of a new global climate agreement. Regarding ratification of the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment, ratification in early 2015 was suggested in order to enhance the credibility of the EU and its member States in the UN climate negotiations.
The 2030 framework for climate and energy policies, communicated by the European Commission in January, aims to make the EU economy and energy system more competitive, secure and sustainable, with the Commission proposing that, by 2030, the EU: reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% below 1990 levels through domestic measures alone; increase its share of renewable energy to at least 27%; and improve energy efficiency. The Commission also outlines a new governance framework for climate and energy policies, and a set of key indicators to assess progress over time.