Council adopts 8th environmental action programme

The Council today adopted its position on the 8th Environmental Action Programme (EAP). The 8th EAP will serve as a guide for environmental policymaking and implementation until 2030. The adoption of the Council’s position follows a provisional agreement reached with the European Parliament in December 2021 and is the final step of the adoption procedure.

The 8th EAP aims to accelerate the green transition in a just and inclusive way, with the 2050 long-term objective of ‘Living well, within the planetary boundaries’.

The six thematic priority objectives of the 8th EAP concern: greenhouse gas emissions reductions, adaptation to climate change, a regenerative growth model, a zero-pollution ambition, protecting and restoring biodiversity, and reducing key environmental and climate impacts related to production and consumption.

The Council and the Parliament agreed on several enabling conditions for achieving the priority objectives, in particular:

– decreasing the EU’s material and consumption footprints

– strengthening environmentally positive incentives

– phasing out environmentally harmful subsidies, in particular fossil fuel subsidies.           

The co-legislators also agreed to include in the 8th EAP a mid-term review in 2024 of the progress achieved in reaching its thematic priority objectives. Following this review, the Commission should, if appropriate, submit a legislative proposal to add an annex to the 8th EAP, which contains a list and timeline of actions for the period after 2025.


Environment action programmes have steered the development of EU environment policy since the early 1970s.

The European Commission presented its proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and the Council on a General Union Environment Action Programme to 2030 on 14 October 2020. The Council presidency and the European Parliament’s negotiators reached a provisional political agreement on the proposal on 1 December 2021.

That decision has been formally adopted. It will now be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enter into force.