Ambassadors of EU Member States today approved a mandate for the Council to start negotiations with the European Parliament in order to reach an agreement on the 8th Environmental Action Programme (EAP). The 8th EAP will serve as a guide for environmental and climate policymaking and implementation until 2030.
João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister for the Environment and Climate Action of Portugal stated that: "For more than 40 years, Environment Action Programmes have ensured predictable and coordinated action for Europe's environment and climate policies. The mandate approved today gives a clear message: member states want the 8th EAP to be an ambitious policy framework that steers our action up until 2030, delivers results and allows us to monitor our achievements in building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe."
Member States added provisions in their position regarding the need to further define actions when the European Green Deal's key actions have been put in place by 2024. The Commission proposal for the 8th EAP builds upon the European Green Deal and the list of actions detailed in it, and exceptionally doesn't include a list of actions. Member states ask the Commission to carry out a mid-term review in 2024, followed by a legislative proposal in 2025, amending the 8th EAP, in order to allow the co-legislators to add the necessary actions to be taken from 2025 to 2030.
Member states also added several specifications to the new monitoring framework that will be set up in the 8th EAP to monitor progress in reaching its priority objectives. Member states added notably a requirement for the Commission to take stock annually of the progress achieved and to present a list of actions it has taken and the actions it plans to take to implement the priority objectives
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 six thematic priority objectives of the 8th EAP concern greenhouse gas emissions reductions, adaptation to climate change, a growth model that gives back to the planet more than it takes, a zero-pollution ambition, protecting and restoring biodiversity and reducing key environmental and climate pressures related to production and consumption.
Environment action programmes have led the development of EU environment policy since the early 1970s. The Council approved conclusions on a future 8th EAP on 4 October 2019, calling on the Commission to present an ambitious and focused programme for the period 2021-2030.
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.
Source: European Council Press Releases