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EU ministers set to call for climate adaptation action and water resilience

​EU Environment ministers are set to call for more action on climate change adaptation and water resilience, following the adoption of draft Council conclusions on the 8th Environment Action Programme (8th EAP). However, the best action they can take to improve Europe’s climate and water resilience would be to sign off on the Nature Restoration Law.

The draft Council conclusions, which open the way for final adoption at the Environment Council meeting on 17 June, call on the European Commission to follow-up on the weak Commission Communication on climate risks adopted in March 2023, including by strengthening existing legislation where appropriate.

Claire Baffert, Senior Policy Officer on water and climate change adaptation at WWF European Policy Office said: “We are taking one step forward, two steps back. Member States are calling for action on climate resilience, which is much needed, but at the same time they are faltering and u-turning on the very tool that would bring sustainable, nature-based climate resilience: we urge Member States to adopt the Nature Restoration Law on 17 June.”

The draft Council conclusions also failed to highlight the need to mainstream climate adaptation in all relevant EU funding and financial schemes, and to discontinue funding that may exacerbate vulnerabilities to climate change impacts and biodiversity loss.

The draft conclusions also call for the European Commission to deliver their suspended initiative on water resilience. This initiative should build on existing relevant EU policies, such as the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive. WWF urges the Commission and Member States to step up the enforcement and implementation of the existing EU water and marine protection legislation.

  • The 8th Environment Action Programme sets out the direction for EU environmental and climate policy action until 2030, building on the European Green Deal. 
  • The EU Climate Risk Assessment published last March highlighted that urgent and coordinated action is required at both EU and Member State level to increase our resilience, and that “the key EU policies related to food production, the CAP and the CFP, do not address climate risks and adaptation needs adequately.”
© Pawel Czerwinski
Drought in a field

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