Opening remarks by EVP Timmermans at the Environment Council press conference of 28 June

Merci beaucoup Madame la Ministre, chère Agnès.

J'ai très très peu à ajouter. C'est l'aboutissement d'un travail très complexe qu'on voit aujourd'hui. On a eu des conclusions dans ce Conseil, mais déjà hier dans le Conseil Energie et avant cela dans le Conseil Transport. Pour le Green Deal européen c'est un jour très très important. On a maintenant une position commune sur ces grands sujets du Conseil et une position commune du Parlement européen. Ça nous donnera la possibilité d'entamer des négociations avec un délai très court. On en a besoin. Le monde n'attend pas. La crise climatique n'attend pas. Les défis géopolitiques n'attendent pas. Europe doit faire foi d'unité, de détermination, de leadership global. Parce que ce que nous avons décidé aujourd'hui ça nous donne aussi un bon coup d'envoi pour la préparation de COP27 à Sharm El-Sheikh au mois de Novembre. Le leadership mondial que l'UE a démontré ne peut qu'être maintenu si on prend des mesures a l'intérieur de l'UE. La crédibilité sur la scène mondiale, ça vient sur la base de ce qu'on fait chez soi.

And in that context it's important that I should underline what the Minister has just said. With this package we can really do what we have engaged to do in the climate law, what we are obliged to do legally in the climate law. This will allow us to get a to reduction of at least 55% of our emissions by 2030 and this will really set us on a trajectory to climate neutrality by 2050.

I want to stress that today's negotiations were long and sometimes complicated because these are very very far reaching proposals. And I am really quite encouraged by the fact that the decisions today were not determined by neither geographical positons nor positions in terms of where one is in terms of development. This is an approach that is shared in all parts of Europe. Of course, there are differences between member states, of course all member states had to accept things that they would rather not have accepted. But they all understood, most of them, almost all understood, that this is the way forward for us collectively. And this will allow us to make this transition in a just way, leaving no one behind, and making sure that those who can afford to finance the transition will do that, and those who would struggle will be supported in a very concrete and clear way.

So all in all, I believe this is a very good day for the European Green Deal and a very good day for the European Union. We got here against the odds, against what many thought was possible, and I really have to thank the French Presidency for doing an incredible job; you Minister, but also your teams both in Brussels and in Paris. And this bodes well for the work that will now start, because now comes the next phase which is the trilogues. And now it is our task to bring the positons of the Council and the European Parliament closer together. We want to deliver on this for our citizens. Our citizens deserve this. Our citizens need this. And we will move as fast as we can.

Thank you.