In the context of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Environment from the Member States of the European Union (Informal Meeting of the Ministers of Environment) took place on May 20 – 21, 2019. The event was held in Bucharest, in the Palace of Parliament. It was hosted and co-chaired by Deputy Prime – Minister, Minister of Environment, Grațiela Leocadia Gavrilescu and Minister of Waters and Forests Ioan Deneș.
The informal meeting reunited ministers of environment from the EU Member States, EFTA states and candidate states for accession to the EU, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, representatives of the General Secretariat of the Council, executive director of European Environment Agency and General Secretary of European Environmental Bureau.
The Agenda of the Informal Meeting of the Ministers of Environment started with a work session on Climate change – Innovative solutions and the role of citizens towards a low carbon future: how to reap better the opportunities related to lifestyle, circularity, spatial planning. In this session the discussions were centred on the measures that would be taken at both International and European level to create the necessary framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Dealing with the consequences of climate change requires major financial efforts. Therefore, priorities aim to reduce the energy consumption and also to reduce the use of certain products with high carbon footprint. Indirectly, the choices of the citizens are important for the development of a circular economy and of new business models which can result in creating new employment opportunities as well as economic growth.
“I am convinced that these debates build new action lines within the Council of the European Union and consolidate the position of Romania at International and European level. Together with my counterparts, we discussed the measures to be taken at national and international level to stimulate the transformation of our lifestyle and to create the necessary framework for the transition towards a neutral society from a climate point of view. My priority, both as a minister of the environment and as a European citizen, is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” declared the Deputy Prime – Minister, Minister of Environment, Grațiela Leocadia Gavrilescu.
In the second working session the biodiversity topic has been addressed – “IPBES results on Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Implications for the EU and Global Biodiversity Framework Post 2020”. The ministers saluted the holistic approach and the participatory aspect which is important for the success of the actions taken in order to preserve the biodiversity as well as the limitation of the losses in the biodiversity area.
The discussions enhanced the importance of integrating the biodiversity objectives in the politics and in the relevant sectorial strategies. The information contained in the biodiversity assessments and ecosystem services is intended to contribute to the consolidation of the global biodiversity Framework post-2020 and to the achievement of the commitments undertaken through the EU vision on Biodiversity for 2050.
The last day of the Informal Meeting of Ministers of Environment focused on Water management – control of water pollution with plastic / microplastic from rivers to seas.
“It was a real honour to co-chair the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Environment and to address, along with my colleagues, extremely important subjects for the citizens and, of course, for our future.” the Deputy Prime – Minister, Minister of Environment, Grațiela Leocadia Gavrilescu concluded.