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EU environment ministers to meet in Luxemburg

Ministry of the Environment
Publication date 17.6.2024 8.00
Press release

The ministers will discuss the EU's 2040 climate target, climate risk management and the regulation on nature restoration. They will also will aim to reach a general approach on the revised waste framework directive, the green claims directive and the soil monitoring directive.

The EU environment ministers will meet in Luxembourg on Monday 17 June. Minister of Climate and the Environment Kai Mykkänen will represent Finland at the meeting. The ministers will seek a general approach on a revision of the waste framework aimed at reducing textile and food waste and on the soil monitoring directive and the directive regulating green claims made by companies. They will also discuss the Commission communications on the EU’s 2040 climate target and climate risk management and exchange views on the regulation on nature restoration.

In Finland’s view, the Commission’s ideas on the EU’s 2040 climate target are a step in the right direction.

“Finland has advocated for and will continue to advocate for ambitious and consistent EU climate policy. From Finland’s point of view, it is essential to make use of technological advances in emission reductions and create incentives for the recovery of biogenic carbon dioxide, while ensuring a favourable environment for investments,” Minister of Climate and the Environment Mykkänen stresses.

Producer responsibility for textile manufacturers and importers

The Commission has proposed a revision to the waste framework directive that would reduce the environmental impacts of the textile industry by making manufacturers and importers of textiles and footwear responsible for the full life cycle of their products (extended producer responsibility). This means that producers would be responsible for the collection, transport and sorting of used products and waste for reuse and recycling. Producer responsibility would apply to clothing, accessories and footwear. 

Finland has signed an initiative together with France, the Netherlands and Austria proposing the idea of introducing higher fees if a producer’s practices lead to increased overproduction and overconsumption, for example by flooding the market with low-quality textiles. Finland is pleased that the objectives of the initiative have been added to the proposal.  

“We must be able to curb the environmental impacts of fast fashion. The fashion industry accounts for an estimated 10 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, which is more than international flights and maritime transport combined. We need EU-level solutions to tackle the growing textile waste problem,” Mykkänen says.

The revisions to the waste framework directive also aim to reduce the amount of food waste: the food industry would be required to reduce food waste by 10 per cent, while the target for shops, restaurants and households would be 30 per cent per capita. Finland is prepared to accept the general approach.

Addressing greenwashing through green claims legislation

The ministers will also seek a general approach on the green claims directive. The proposed directive would require companies to communicate their environmental claims as accurately and transparently as possible and back up their claims with scientific evidence. Environmental claims would have to be verified in advance by an independent verifier. 

The proposal would require countries to designate a national competent authority or authorities to carry out market surveillance and report on the use of green claims on an annual basis. Consumers and civil society organisations would also be able to file complaints to the authorities about misleading claims. A new amendment to the proposal would also include microenterprises in the scope of the directive. Member States should support small and medium-sized enterprises in complying with the requirements. 

Finland generally welcomes the proposed directive and supports its objectives, as nearly half of green claims are misleading or incorrect at the moment. Finland especially welcomes the fact that national or regional ISO 14024-type eco-labels officially recognised in the Member States would not need to be verified in advance. Finland also considers it important to set criteria for the use of climate claims and to ensure that operators have set their own climate targets when they claim to have compensated for their emissions.

Improvements to the monitoring of soil health

The third general approach to be reached at the meeting concerns the soil monitoring directive. Published in July 2023, the directive aims to improve the monitoring of soil health, promote measures to improve soil health, raise awareness about contaminated sites and reduce the risks arising from contamination.  Finland welcomes the fact that the directive will increase the availability and quality of information on soil health. In the negotiations, Finland has highlighted the importance of monitoring soil health in a cost-effective and appropriate manner.


Emma-Stina Vehmanen
Special Adviser to Minister Mykkänen
tel. +358 40 847 1992
[email protected]

Waste Framework Directive
Sirje Sten
Ministerial Adviser
tel. +358 295 250 276
[email protected]

Green Claims
Taina Nikula
Senior Ministerial Adviser
tel. +358 295 250 202
[email protected]

Soil Monitoring Directive
Paula Perälä
Ministerial Adviser
tel. +358 29 525 0224
[email protected]