EU environment ministers to discuss ways to combat biodiversity loss and adapt to climate change
At their informal meeting on 13–14 July in Prague, the EU ministers responsible for the environment will prepare for the UN’s meetings on biodiversity and climate change, discuss the environmental impacts of the war in Ukraine and explore what kind expert assistance the EU can offer. State Secretary Terhi Lehtonen will represent Finland at the meeting.
The ministers will discuss global objectives for conserving biodiversity, which will be the focus of the UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, Canada on 5–17 December 2022. They will also prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt on 6–18 November 2022.
“It is very important for the EU to be a global leader in nature and climate policy. Climate change and biodiversity loss are interlinked, so we need to tackle them together,” says State Secretary Terhi Lehtonen.
“At the international level, we need ambitious and measurable targets and systematic monitoring to combat biodiversity loss. We have to make sure that biodiversity is integrated into all areas of politics and society,” State Secretary Lehtonen continues.
The EU’s position on the global Convention on Biological Diversity will be formulated at the Environment Council in autumn 2022.
Preparations for the autumn climate conference
At their meeting, the environment ministers will discuss the 27th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) taking place this autumn. In order to achieve the 1.5°C target set in the Paris Agreement, large economies in particular need to set stricter emission reduction targets and implement more effective climate measures. Along with emissions reductions, the key themes of the UN Climate Change Conference will be climate change adaptation and climate finance. Compensation for damage and losses caused by climate change is a key priority for developing countries.
Finland considers it important that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is progressing in all areas and that decisions are based on the latest science, especially the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC.
The environment ministers will also discuss adaptation to climate change, especially from the perspective of biodiversity and soil protection. In Finland’s view, nature-based solutions can be used to advance several objectives at the same time, such as mitigating and adapting to climate change, conserving biodiversity, improving the state of waters and promoting health and wellbeing.
Environmental impacts of war on the agenda
The ministers will also explore what kind of expertise and support the EU and its Member States can provide to Ukraine for assessing war-induced environmental damage and rebuilding environmental infrastructure. Russia’s military actions have polluted Ukraine’s air, soil, surface waters and groundwater.
Finland emphasises the EU’s strong political, economic and humanitarian support to Ukraine.
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