EU and China step up their cooperation on environment, water and circular economy

From April 1-3, 2019, an EU delegation headed by EU Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella is visiting China to continue and deepen EU – China environmental bilateral relations.

He will co-chair the 7th environmental dialogue and will initiate two new high-level dialogues on Water and Circular Economy. The Commissioner will meet several Chinese ministers to discuss shared priorities related to water and circular economy, wildlife and forest protection, the EU-China Ocean Partnership, and the fight against illegal fishing.

Commissioner Vella said: “Both the EU and China are facing similar environmental challenges. Threats to biodiversity, pressures on scarce natural resources, waters and oceans as well as the threat of pollution require strong governance. Together we can better respond to these challenges and we can take the lead globally.”

Circular economy is an important political priority both in the EU and in China as confirmed by the ‘Memorandum of Understanding on Circular Economy Cooperation‘ signed in July 2018. Taking into account the experience gained with the implementation of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan and the EU Plastic Strategy leaders will discuss how to accelerate bilateral collaboration to better respond to common challenges and support a global transition to a resource-efficient and circular economic model in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. Biodiversity will also be high on the agenda, looking ahead to the Biodiversity Summit in Chinanext year, where world leaders are expected to agree on a post-2020 plan to stop the rapid decline of the natural world.