European Commissioner for Climate Action Frans Timmermans delivers a speech on the Presentation of the Fit for 55 package after the publication of the IPCC report, during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, on September 14, 2021. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

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On 6 October, the EU environment and climate ministers will meet in Luxembourg to discuss the EU climate package (Fit for 55), the EU Forest Strategy and the negotiating objectives of the EU for the Glasgow Climate Change Conference. Finland's representative at the meeting will be Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen.

In July 2021 the Commission issued a massive package of proposals for climate legislation. The proposals of the Fit for 55 package implement the obligation in the European Climate Law to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions of the EU by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The environment ministers will discuss the legislative proposals that are the responsibility of the Environment Council (Emissions Trading Directive, Effort Sharing Regulation, LULUCF Regulation, Regulation setting CO2 emission performance standards for cars and vans, and Regulation establishing a social climate fund).

"The key issue is to make sure that the target set in the climate package to reduce emissions by 55% will be achieved or exceeded. When discussing such a large number of proposals, we must ensure that the level of ambition of the package as a whole will not be compromised, but it will rather be strengthened and support the EU's transition towards a climate-neutral economy," says Minister of the Environment and Climate change Krista Mikkonen.

The main objective of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP26) is to encourage countries to take more ambitious climate action. Countries are expected to announce more stringent commitments before the meeting. The topics on the conference agenda include finalising the Paris Agreement rulebook, funding for climate action and climate change adaptation. The Environment Council is to adopt the Council conclusions that will constitute the negotiating mandate of the EU for the Glasgow Climate Change Conference.

"What is important in the negotiations is to create rules for international market mechanisms. Strong rules would enable measures that support the ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement and avoid double counting," Minister Mikkonen says.

Finland supports the Presidency's proposal for the Council conclusions. The conclusions cover all key issues and provide a good basis for the EU's negotiating mandate at the Glasgow Climate Change Conference.

The ministers will also discuss the EU Forest Strategy published by the Commission in connection with the climate package in July 2021. Finland supports the EU Forest Strategy in many respects. The climate and biodiversity perspectives related to forests are well accounted for in the Forest Strategy, and the Strategy is linked to the European Green Deal and the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030. This supports the objectives of Finland's Government Programme and the Government's sustainability roadmap, especially with regard to ecological sustainability.

Source: Ministry of the Environment