Today EU environment ministers have met to discuss the contribution of environmental and climate policies to the recovery from COVID-19, with a focus on circular economy.
Ministers overwhelmingly acknowledged the crisis requires a rethink of our production and consumption patterns, but more consistency and synergies between climate and environment policies are needed to ensure the industry sector fully taps into the emission reductions potential of a circular economy. Some also reiterated their support for the EU to agree to a 2030 climate target of at least 55% emission cuts this year.
The industry sector, which is responsible for 14% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU, must be transformed to contribute to the climate neutrality objective. However, current discussions fail to bridge the gap between the net-zero emissions goal and how a circular economy, including reduced resource use can help achieve it.
Doreen Fedrigo, industrial transformation policy coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said: “Commissioners and Ministers echoed each other on the need for policies that address more than one crisis at a time, and the importance of the ‘do no harm’ principle in EU recovery funding allocations. We cannot go back to the old economy, we must build a clean, resilient, social and just future. The implementation of the industrial strategy must make EU industry reduce resource use and its environmental impacts, and this can be done through efforts on climate and circularity. This is needed not only to reduce our dependence on product and raw material imports as highlighted by the COVID crisis, but also to make sure EU industries become more environment and climate-friendly.”
“Focusing the industry transformation only on shifts in energy sources and energy efficiency is not enough for the industry to achieve climate neutrality. Energy ministers must also strive to reduce industrial carbon and ecological footprints linked with resource use, throughout the whole product lifecycle,” she added.
Nicolas Derobert, Head of communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 483 62 18 88
Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 170 member organisations active in 38 European countries, representing over 1.500 NGOs and more than 47million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.