Tiilikainen: EU needs an ambitious Long-term Climate Strategy, zero emissions by 2050 as the target

Press release 2018-06-25 at 17:44

”The EU must aim for zero emissions by 2050, and our target to 2030 must be on the path towards this. This should form the basis for the Long-term Climate Strategy and preparations of the EU for the Katowice Climate Change Conference”, said Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing of Finland, in Luxembourg on Monday.

The EU environment ministers met at the Environment Council in Luxembourg on 25 June. The EU climate policy was one of topics on the agenda. During the meeting Finland, together with 14 other Member States, gave a declaration for a more ambitious climate policy that is based on the 1.5 degrees report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC. The EU must also review the greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2030 on the basis of the reductions already achieved in different sectors and consider whether the inputs made for the Paris Agreement should be updated already in 2020.

The European Commission will give the proposal for the Long-term Climate Strategy in November, well in time before the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland.

”The EU must give a strong message that we are committed to bearing our responsibility and leading the international climate efforts by our own example”, Tiilikainen said.

Finland backs a strict policy in reducing transport emissions

At the meeting the ministers discussed the emission standards for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles for 2025 and 2030. Finland, together with other more ambitious Member States, calls for a stricter policy in the Commission proposal.

“We have ambitious emission reduction targets for the non-emission trading sector, which is why stricter emission standards are needed for automobile manufacturers. How can the consumers buy low-emission vehicles if this is not what the manufacturers must produce”, Tiilikainen said.

As the next step Austria, which is to take over the EU Presidency in July, will give a compromise proposal on the emission standards, and the general approach of the Environment Council should be ready by the October meeting. The aim is to reach an agreement between the Council, European Parliament and Commission by the end of this year.

The ministers also talked about the Drinking Water Directive and started the discussion on the Commission proposal concerning single-use plastics.

”The initiative concerning single-use plastic is highly urgent. The key issue is to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics and prevent plastic litter from ending up in the environment. The recycling of plastics must be significantly increased and, where possible, biobased materials must be used to substitute for plastics. Finland has strong expertise in this as well.”

Inquiries:

Taru Savolainen, Special Adviser, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 40 535 8622, firstname.lastname(at)ym.fi

Eleonoora Eilittä, Senior Officer, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 295 34 2089, firstname.lastname(at)lvm.fi (CO2 emission standards for vehicles)