In the two-day videoconference they discussed the upcoming environmental and climate agenda of the German EU Council Presidency, including the planned European Climate Law.

This law will set out the phases required for Europe to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and how this process will be monitored. An important issue is the European climate target for 2030, i.e. the question of the extent to which emissions must be further reduced by 2030 to effectively slow the pace of climate change.

German Federal Environment Minister Schulze commented on this issue ahead of the meeting:

It is undisputed that the commitment to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030 is no longer viable as the EU aims to be greenhouse gas neutral by the middle of the century. Reducing emissions by the remaining 60 percent within two decades from 2030 to 2050 would not be possible without economic and social upheavals. That is why I think that the Commission’s proposed 2030 reduction target of 50-55% compared with 1990 levels is the right move. I will do my very best to ensure consensus in the EU Environment Council. This will be difficult enough as some countries don’t want to raise the bar at all, while others want to set it even higher.

Another issue was the increasing level of digitalisation in Europe and how it can be aligned with environmental and climate interests.