EU environment ministers vow to step up climate action, save biodiversity

By Li JizhiUnreguser

BRUSSELS, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- European Union (EU) environment ministers reiterated during an informal meeting on Thursday their commitment to work on means to achieve the new target of reducing at least 55 percent CO2 emissions by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.

German Minister for the Environment Svenja Schulze, who presided over the meeting, stressed the importance of "team work" and solidarity within the EU to keep alive the ambitious target, as some member states will have more work to do than others.

"We must ensure an agreement among the member states is reached on this by the end of the year," she told an online press conference following the meeting.

Huge investments will be needed to realize the goal, but the effort will not only be good for the climate but also provide an opportunity for the EU to recover with greater economic growth, she noted.

So far, EU's greenhouse gas emissions have only dropped by 25 percent compared with 1990 levels, German News Agency dpa reported last month, citing European Commission figures.

The informal meeting also debated the issue of biodiversity. "It is very reassuring to see ministers take action here in Europe," said Virginijus Sinkevicius, the European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.

Loss in biodiversity will have negative effects on food security, the economy, people's health and the ability to mitigate climate change, he added.

Sinkevicius also said that the EU must "set an example on the global arena" and pave the way for a successful outcome of the global biodiversity negotiations at the 15th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity, to be held in Kunming, China in 2021.

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