8th EAP: member states endorse provisional political agreement reached with Parliament

8th EAP: member states endorse provisional political agreement reached with Parliament

F.P. Report

BRUSSELS: EU ambassadors today approved a provisional political agreement reached between the Council presidency and the European Parliament’s negotiators on 1 December, regarding the 8th Environmental Action Programme (EAP). The 8th EAP will serve as a guide for environmental and climate policymaking and implementation until 2030.

“The agreement reached today delivers a strong 8th EAP – an ambitious policy framework that outlines the overall direction of the EU’s environment policy to 2030 and allows us to monitor our achievements on our path towards climate-neutrality and a zero-pollution environment. Through the addition of a mid-term review we also made sure that we can take stock of the progress made after the end of the European Green Deal in 2025 and that, where appropriate, further actions will be taken to reach our 2030 objectives.”

Andrej Vizjak, Slovenian Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning

The presidency and the Parliament’s negotiators provisionally agreed among other things to the following:

– The Commission will carry out a mid-term review in 2024 of the progress achieved in reaching the thematic priority objectives. Following this review, the Commission should present, where appropriate, a legislative proposal to add an annex to the 8th EAP, which contains a list and timeline of actions for the period after 2025.

– Significantly decreasing the Union’s material and consumption footprints to bring them into planetary boundaries as soon as possible, including through the introduction of EU 2030 reduction targets, as appropriate

– Strengthening environmentally positive incentives as well as phasing out environmentally harmful subsidies, in particular fossil fuel subsidies by:

a binding framework to monitor and report on member states’ progress towards phasing out fossil fuel subsidies based on an agreed methodology;

setting a deadline for the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies, consistent with the ambition of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees;

a methodology set out by the Commission, in consultation with member states, by 2023, for identifying other environmentally harmful subsidies. On the basis of this methodology, Member states will be required to identify and report on such subsidies, allowing for a Commission report on the progress made in phasing them out;

– Developing a summary dashboard and indicator set measuring ‘beyond GDP’.

– Setting stricter requirements for the Commission to take stock annually of the progress achieved, as well as a governance mechanism with an annual exchange of views between the institutions.

The Council and the European Parliament will now formally adopt the decision, after which it will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enter into force.


Environment action programmes have led the development of EU environment policy since the early 1970s. The Council approved conclusions on a future 8th EAP on 4 October 2019, calling on the Commission to present an ambitious and focused programme for the period 2021-2030.

The European Commission presented its proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and the Council on a General Union Environment Action Programme to 2030 on 14 October 2020.

The 8th EAP aims at accelerating the green transition in a just and inclusive way, with the 2050 long-term objective of “Living well, within the planetary boundaries”, already established in the 7th EAP. The six thematic priority objectives of the 8th EAP concern greenhouse gas emissions reductions, adaptation to climate change, a growth model that gives back to the planet more than it takes, a zero-pollution ambition, protecting and restoring biodiversity and reducing key environmental and climate pressures related to production and consumption.

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