Green transition should be achieved in a fair way, Environment Minister says
11:31 - 17 October 2023
Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment Petros Xenophontos has stressed the need for a just green transition and the need to create the necessary conditions in all EU member states towards this goal.
According to an official press release, the Minister was speaking during the EU Environment Council, that was held on 16 October in Luxembourg. The Environment Ministers approved the text of the updated EU Nationally Determined Contributions, which concerns the commitment of the Union and the Member States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, under the framework of the Paris Agreement. Xenophontos supported a wording that expresses the EU's ability to exceed its legally binding target of 55% by 2030, achieving potentially a 57% reduction in emissions, as a result of the implementation of the 'Fit for 55' Legislative Package.
Regarding the 2030 target for 100% zero-emissions of city buses, the Minister supported the adoption of an intermediate target such as an 80% reduction on the way to 100% in 2035 so that municipalities and regions are able to cope with the rapid and costly transition.
He also expressed understanding for the concerns of a group of member states, which are expected to have an impact on areas of their national interest, underlining that we must not forget the dimension of the just transition and the need to create the necessary conditions in all member states for green transition.
The Cypriot Minister supported a joint request by Italy, Portugal and Greece to closely monitor any impact on European trans-shipment ports that may arise from the implementation of the Emissions Trading System (ETS) in the shipping sector. He also expressed solidarity with Greece's request regarding the updating of the European flood directive, so that the frequent phenomena of natural disasters are better taken into account.
During a working lunch the Ministers exchanged views on the international negotiations on plastic pollution. Xenophontos supported the efforts to develop a legally binding instrument, to limit the consumption of plastics and waste, at a global level.