The most important guideline in the development of the environmental aspects of the presidency program was the European "Green Deal", which, among other things, provides for the EU's carbon neutrality by 2050. Carbon dioxide emissions must be neutralized by administrative and market measures. The program for the next three decades includes the following steps: encouragement of sustainable modes of travel, cooperation in the field of wind energy and other renewable energy sources, application of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities to prevent CO2 emissions and the transfer of carbon dioxide to third countries (so-called carbon leakage) and active use of green technologies.
The topic of climate neutrality will be the focus of a number of events included in the chairmanship program, including those on transport and alternative energy. A scientific evening "How much does Europe's carbon neutrality cost" and a traditional meeting of ten leading EU environmental NGOs (Green 10) are also planned. One of the most important events will be the Global Bioeconomic Summit in Berlin, which will bring together representatives from more than 70 countries.
Agricultural policy and fishing industry
In connection with the coronavirus epidemic, food security has acquired particular relevance, and it has become one of the priorities of the program of the German Presidency of the EU Council.
Germany is focusing on the Farm-to-Table Strategy, presented in May 2020 with the Biodiversity Support Program as part of the Green Deal. It provides for the reduction of the use of pesticides, fertilizers and antibiotics, the expansion of organic farming, and the support of agricultural regions and their development as attractive areas for life.
Several meetings of the Council on Agrarian Policy and Fisheries are planned by the end of the year, which should develop specific recommendations by the fall of 2020. The agricultural theme will also include conferences such as Natural Resources and Food Systems - Pathways to a Safe and Equitable Future, as well as the International Conference on PFAS (Per- and Polyfluorinated Compounds).
Sustainable consumption is closely related to the environmental agenda. During its presidency, Germany plans to participate in the development of EU legislative initiatives aimed at protecting consumer rights. Important measures in this area include, for example: the abolition of roaming in the EU, the right to deliver within a reasonable time for purchases on the Internet, a two-year warranty for purchases in the store or on the Internet, the RAPEX rapid alert system to identify and remove dangerous products from the market and cross-border consumer consulting.
Small steps - big consequences
Germany intends to make its chairmanship of the EU Council climate neutral. To do this, it is planned to refuse small gifts for arriving delegations and to check the venues for environmental certification and compliance with sustainable development standards. Germany also intends to offset the inevitable carbon dioxide emissions during its presidency through mutual settlements for climate protection projects that are certified by the Kyoto Protocol. In this way, the Federal Government will follow the green principle of "avoid and reduce first, then compensate".