Environmental Agenda for Finland's EU Presidency

bridges vol. 11, September 2006 / EU News
by Saija Nurminen

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Finland has chosen "a new generation of environmental policy" as its main theme for the environmental program of the Finnish Presidency of the EU in the second half of 2006. Finland's other main priorities in the environmental sector are mitigating climate change, halting the decline in biodiversity, and the interim review of the EU's 6th Environment Action Program (6EAP).

A new generation of environmental policy for Europe
The informal meeting of European environmental ministers in Turku in July focused on the need for a new generation of environmental policy for Europe. The EU has achieved good results in tackling so-called bottom of the barrel environmental problems. However, issues such as sustainable consumption and production, as well as material and resource efficiency, call for improved and more efficient decision making and new policy approaches.

Global production chains create well-being, but at the same time give rise to new environmental problems. Major challenges include climate change, the rising demand for energy, continuing dependency on fossil fuels, and the steady destruction of vital natural resources.

We encourage the EU to adopt a more prominent role in the global community when it comes to critical environmental questions. The EU should envision how well-being, eco-efficiency, responsible industry, and active citizenship can coexist.

Climate change
Climate change is a high priority for us. On the international level the emphasis will be on processes aimed at exploring the development of a global climate regime after 2012. Such processes were launched as the Montreal Plan of Action adopted in Montreal in December 2005. Key tasks in this respect will be preparation for and participation in the international climate negotiations in Nairobi in November.

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