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Important and demanding challenges lie ahead for the Slovenian Presidency in the area of Climate Change

Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning Andrej Vizjak attended the last meeting of the Environment Council before the start of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Portuguese Presidency presented the report on the progress made in negotiations on the proposal for a regulation concerning batteries and waste batteries, which is an integral part of the European Green Deal.

The Council Conclusions on EU strategy on adaptation to climate change were also adopted, where the ministers welcomed the preparation of the adaptation communication in line with the Paris Agreement to be submitted to the UNFCCC. The ministers also exchanged views on the action plan on zero pollution, which sets out a vision for zero-pollution by 2050 and horizontally addresses all aspect of pollution. At the end of the meeting, Minister Vizjak presented the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency in the field of the environment.

In the progress report on the negotiations on the proposal for a regulation concerning batteries and waste batteries, despite the intense and comprehensive debate led by the Portuguese Presidency, key outstanding issues, such as the legal basis, extended producer responsibility etc., have not yet been resolved. Minister Vizjak stressed “that in the course of the presidency, Slovenia would continue with intensive work on this dossier and strive to make as much progress as possible.”

Slovenia supported the adoption of the Council’s conclusions on adaptation to climate change as it believes that building climate resilience should be one of the EU’s priorities. It is necessary to have a systemic approach covering all relevant sectors. Minister invited the Commission to prepare an EU adaptation communication in line with the Paris Agreement to be submitted to the UNFCCC in time for COP26. In this respect, Minister Vizjak highlighted the importance of related EU policies, particularly in the areas of water management in adapting to climate change and nature-based solutions.

The ministers also discussed the Action plan on zero pollution that the European Commission presented in May. Slovenia welcomes the Action plan and sees it as the key step towards accelerating efforts to achieve the zero pollution targets by 2050 and create a toxic-free environment. Slovenia also welcomes the announced intention to improve monitoring as well as the intention to revise air-quality standards to better reflect the recommendations of the World Health Organization.

Under AOB Swedish delegation, supported by France and Luxembourg, presented the importance of the pollinators and welcomed the intention of the Slovenian Presidency to include this topic among its environmental presidency priorities.

At the end of the meeting minister Vizjak presented the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency and stressed that Slovenia would strive for the consistent and ambitious implementation of the Green Deal, particularly from the view of the important negotiations on the Fit for 55 package, preparations for COP26 in Glasgow and COP15 on biodiversity and continuing with work on Batteries regulation. Minister Vizjak also thanked the Portuguese Presidency for their hard work. Slovenian Presidency would strive to make as much as progress on the dossiers in accordance with the Trio’s programme.

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