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Council focuses on climate, energy and GMOs

The EU environment ministers discussed the 2030 policy framework for climate and energy and exchanged views on a proposal concerning genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Ministers agreed that the debate on the 2030 framework was necessary as investors, businesses and citizens want clarity and predictability with regard to future climate and energy policies.

"The proposed 2030 policy framework is a sound basis for discussion. We had a very interesting and useful first round of exchange of views with environment ministers that will be continued tomorrow with our energy colleagues," said Yannis Maniatis, Greek minister for environment, energy and climate change, who chaired the meeting.

The aim of the Commission's proposal for a policy framework for climate and energy in the period 2020-2030 is to drive continued progress towards a low-carbon economy and a competitive and secure energy system.

The presidency will report on the outcome of the ministerial discussion to the President of the European Council. Climate and energy will be among the issues discussed at the European Council meeting of 20-21 March 2014.

2030 framework for climate and energy policies

The main elements of the proposed framework include:

  • greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 40% below 1990 levels, to be achieved only through domestic measures (without the use of international credits)
  • renewable energy target of at least 27% of energy consumption, with flexibility for member states to set national objectives
  • energy efficiency as a key component of the 2030 framework: a review of the energy efficiency directive will be concluded later in 2014.

Other topics on the agenda

Genetically modified organisms

The Council held an exchange of views on the draft regulation amending directive 2001/18/EC as regards the possibility for member states to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of genetically modified organisms in their territory. The exchange of views confirmed the member states' willingness to reopen discussions on the legislative proposal on the basis of the presidency compromise text.

Greening of the European Semester

In preparation for the spring European Council, ministers also discussed the Annual Growth Survey 2014. The debate focused on how to improve the uptake of green economy priorities in national reform programmes and in the overall European Semester cycle.

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