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Brussels, 20 June 2013
Commissioners Janez Potočnik and Connie Hedegaard welcome the trilogue agreement on the new Environment Action Programme to 2020
Following an agreement last night between the European Parliament and the Council on the new General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020, “Living well, within the limits of our planet", Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said:
"This agreement sends a clear signal that the EU and its Member States firmly support a strong and smart environment policy as a key condition for healthy living and a competitive, resource-efficient and low-carbon economy in Europe.
It is essential that the EU institutions and the Member States now turn their commitments into action, and that we assume our collective and individual responsibilities to tackle the challenges we have identified together. This will deliver tangible benefits for people and the environment.
I would like to thank all those involved in the negotiations which led to this agreement. I especially want to thank Mr Phil Hogan and the Irish Presidency for having skilfully steered discussions in the Council and maintained a very intense negotiating schedule, and the Danish and Cypriot Presidencies for their work in the preparatory phase. I also want to thank the Parliamentary rapporteur Mr Gaston Franco, and the shadow rapporteurs for their cooperative and constructive approach to the negotiations."
European Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said:
''I am very happy to see that the European Parliament and the Council agreed on the need to urgently define our climate and energy targets for 2030. They also recognise that 2030 targets are needed not only to prepare Europe for the international negotiations up to 2015, but also to give certainty to investors, Member States and industry for the investments needed in emissions reduction, energy efficiency and renewable energy''.
The 7th Environment Action Programme was proposed by the Commission in November 2012 (IP/12/1271). It identifies nine priority objectives for the period up to 2020, including:
The Programme sets out a framework to support the achievement of these objectives through, inter alia, better implementation of EU environment law, state of the art science, securing the necessary investments in support of environment and climate change policy, and improving the way that environmental concerns and requirements are reflected in other policies.
The programme also aims to boost efforts to help EU cities become more sustainable, and improve the EU's capacity to meet regional and global environment and climate challenges.
The programme, the seventh of its kind, builds on the significant achievements of 40 years of EU environment policy, and draws on a number of recent strategic initiatives in the field of environment, including the Resource Efficiency Roadmap, the 2020 Biodiversity Strategy and the Low Carbon Economy Roadmap. It should secure the commitment of EU institutions, Member States, regional and local administrations and other stakeholders to a common agenda for environment policy action up to 2020.
For more information:
Commission webpage on the new EU Environment Action Programme to 2020: