Climate change and circular economy discussed in Brussels2016-03-04
Today, the Minister of Environment, Kęstutis Trečiokas, and his counterparts from the EU member states gathered in Brussels for a meeting of the EU Environmental Council to debate on the current two key issues – climate change and circular economy.
The ministers discussed the results of the Paris conference held last November, which adopted a global agreement on the climate change management system beyond 2020. Lithuania has provided a positive evaluation of this agreement. Minister Kęstutis Trečiokas has called on the international community to step up its efforts and seek that as many countries as possible sign this agreement in April in New York and ratify it later on.
‘We have to devote more attention to achieving the EU energy and climate change policy objectives by 2030. This is an important step that is closely linked with the ratification of the Paris Agreement, thus we have to ensure constructive work within the Community. The EU has presented very ambitious commitments for this agreement. That is why it is important that other world countries, including the biggest polluters, also ensure the implementation of their commitments’, stressed Kęstutis Trečiokas.
The minister also took part in a discussion on the circular economy. In December, the European Commission had submitted draft laws amending legislation in this area, and a communication ‘Closing the loop – An EU action plan for the Circular Economy’. These documents are aimed at creating a closed product life cycle, turning waste into resources and using such resources efficiently, reducing environmental impacts and promoting waste recycling.
Today, the ministers of environment have also held a discussion on the measures and initiatives provided for in the Communication from the Commission. ‘In the transition to the circular economy, more attention needs to be devoted to the ecodesign and reuse of products, development of innovative technology, establishment of quality standards and prevention of food waste. The objectives of waste recycling set out in the legislative proposals for the circular economy are very ambitious. Their implementation will be complicated even if we make all efforts and apply the measures of the action plan. Therefore, all the states should receive a possibility for time-extensions for achieving the new objectives’, noted Kęstutis Trečiokas.
The ministers’ meeting also dealt with the European Semester and the 2016 Annual Growth Survey, and approved a statement of the EU Council on endocrine disruptors.