The aim of the meeting was to exchange views on the link between biodiversity loss and the coronavirus pandemic and to discuss the European Commission’s proposal to raise the EU 2030 climate target to at least 55% compared to 1990 levels.
The Informal Meeting of Environment and Climate Ministers is an important part of the Council Presidency, providing the opportunity to discuss politically relevant issues beyond day-to-day activities. It is also a chance to diverge from the format of the official European Council meetings held in Brussels or Luxembourg during the Council Presidency and to invite other speakers besides the ministers and the EU Commissioners for the Environment and Climate Action.
Traditionally, the ministers of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland - are invited, as well as those of the EU candidate countries. The chair of the Environment Committee in the European Parliament, the Director of the European Environment Agency and the Secretary General of the European Environmental Bureau (the European umbrella organisation for environmental NGOs) also attended.
The agenda for the first day of the Informal Meeting of EU Environment and Climate Ministers included the following issues:
- Lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis for global biodiversity conservation policy
- The impact assessment on raising the EU 2030 climate target and a discussion on Europe’s contribution to implementing the Paris Agreement
On the second day, the EU environment and climate ministers had another opportunity to take an in-depth look at the European Commission’s climate action proposals in a working session and to discuss the upcoming decisions on raising the EU 2030 climate target and on the EU's Climate Law.