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Lithuania to deal with Community-wide environmental issues in its upcoming presidency

2013-03-22

Minister of Environment Valentinas Mazuronis visited Brussels to discuss the relevant environmental issues Lithuania will have to deal with once it starts its presidency of the EU Council in one hundred days from now. The main themes of the meetings spanned from the quality and efficiency of environmental impact assessment and indirect harm to the environment caused by production of biofuels to further regulation on the use of nano materials and genetic resources.

Currently holding presidency of the EU Council, Ireland arranged a political debate to discuss the proposal of the European Commission to amend the Directive on the assessment of the environmental impact of some public and private projects. “Lithuania, in principle, supports the aim, which is the reason for proposing to amend this directive,” Mr Mazuronis pointed out. “But what is important is that the measures to achieve this are reasonable and adequate to prevent any excessive burden on the state or the private sector.”

The Environment Council also discussed developing an accreditation system for assessors and a procedure for determining the scope of assessment.

Furthermore, the Council looked at directives on the quality of petrol and diesel fuel and on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources in order to convert to sustainable environment-friendly biofuel, in reducing consumption of first generation and increasing consumption of second generation biofuel as well as restricting indirect changing of the purpose of agricultural land. “Being aware that climate change must be reduced and the use of renewable sources of energy must be maximised, we must immediately address problems that impede reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to indirect change of land use. Incentives to shift to biofuel production are required already today,” said Mr Mazuronis after the meeting.

In Brussels Minister Valentinas Mazuronis met with Connie Hedegaard, the European Commissioner for Climate Action, as he already did previously, this time to discuss Lithuania’s preparations for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Minister expressed Lithuania’s support to the EC proposal to restrict the number of auctioned emission allowances between 2013 and 2015. This would allow increasing the price for these allowances and encourage industries to invest in clean and environment-friendly technologies.

During his visit to Brussels Mazuronis also discussed environmental issues pending before the Environment Council and its working groups in the second half of this year, when our country will have already taken the lead of the EU Council, with the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building Martin Lidegard and Minister of Environment Ida Auken, the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment Miguel Arias Cañete, the Romanian Minister of Environment and Forestry Plumb Rovana, the Czech Minister of Environment Tomaš Chalupa and the Bulgarian acting Minister of Environment and Waters Julian Popov. The Minister also met with the chairman of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament, Matthias Groote, the committee’s representative of the Group of the Greens, Bas Eickhout, and representatives of the association of non-governmental organisations “Green 10”.

Information of the Ministry of Environment, tel. 8~706 63660
22 March 2013

 

 

 

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas