Luxembourg Minister of the Environment Carole Dieschbourg participated in the Council of Environment Ministers yesterday in Brussels.

The agenda of the council included an exchange of views on the European Commission's new proposals on the circular economy, including the European Plastics Strategy. In this context, Minister Dieschbourg emphasised the need for a reinforced reduction strategy: "Plastics are an easy solution with often negative consequences for the environment, the climate, the oceans and human health. Furthermore, we must do everything possible so that single-use packaging plastics as well as products containing micro-plastics disappear from the market as soon as possible, if necessary through [the implementation of] a ban."

In addition, the Council discussed the proposal for a regulation on performance standards for CO2 emissions for new passenger cars. In her speech, Carole Dieschbourg urged the European Commission to improve its proposal, claiming that: “We need binding and more ambitious CO2 emission standards for 2025 and 2030 as well as ambitious sales obligations for zero-emission or very low-emission vehicles."

The European Council finally discussed the proposal of France, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg concerning the ban on ivory trade. Luxembourg is committed to a ban on the European level and at the same time has put forth its desire to provide the necessary means for a unilateral and rapid ban on this trade in Luxembourg. Thus, the government has adopted a related bill which for the moment awaiting the opinion of the Council of State.