Environment and climate change

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The EU is cracking down on plastic pollution. The Council today adopted a directive which introduces new restrictions on certain single-use plastic products.

What do the European Union and the Smurfs have in common? Both identify with the colour blue, and both care deeply about the health of our blue planet. And now they are shaking hands to clean up beaches across the world and encourage people to protect our ocean!

The Council today adopted conclusions on climate diplomacy. The Council recalls that climate change is a direct and existential threat, which will spare no country. The Council notes that the world is already witnessing multiple devastating impacts of climate change, yet action to stem it remains insufficient.

EU member states today confirmed tough new restrictions on certain single-use plastic products. EU ambassadors meeting in COREPER endorsed the provisional agreement reached after more than 12 hours of negotiations between the presidency of the Council and the European Parliament in the early hours of 19 December.

Around 8 million tons of plastic enter the sea every year... mostly ending up on our beaches... Collective action is needed! Throughout the months of September and October, leading to the Our Ocean Conference in Bali, several EU Delegations worldwide were actively cleaning seashores and riverbanks together with their families, and locals and organisations who worked jointly to make our ocean a better place for marine life... These efforts have now been marked on the European Atlas of the Seas’ last “Map of the Week” for 2018!

In late November, the European Union Delegation to Iceland planted the first of 600 birch trees that it will plant at the Friendship Forest, near Thingvellir, 40 minutes outside Reykjavik, the site of the first Icelandic parliament more than a thousand years ago.

The EU is taking action to reduce plastic pollution by setting tough new restrictions on certain single-use plastic products. The presidency of the Council today reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament on a new directive which is part of the EU's efforts to protect the environment and reduce marine litter.

The UN climate conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, concluded with the adoption of a clear rulebook to make the Paris Agreement on climate change work in practice across the world. The completion of the rulebook was the EU's top objective in these negotiations.

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The European Union and its Member States have progressively put in place a comprehensive external migration policy and strengthened the work along the Central Mediterranean route. Saving and protecting the lives of migrants and refugees, breaking the business model of smugglers and traffickers and providing legal pathways, while addressing the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement are at the very heart of the EU's policy.

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