Minister of Environment presented Lithuania's EU Council presidency environmental and climate change priorities2013-07-10
Today, Minister of Environment Valentinas Mazuronis presented Lithuania's environment and climate change policy priorities during its presidency of the EU Council and presented an overview of the agenda by which they will be implemented to the European Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee in Brussels. The Minister underscored the fact that Lithuania will use its presidency to ensure an effective, productive and smooth legislative process. He also emphasized the fact that the European Union already possesses some of the strictest environmental regulations in the world.
“It's clear that climate change is one of the most important questions on our mind today, as it influences business, energy, transportation, agriculture and other parts of the economy,” - said Valentinas Mazuronis. Lithuania will seek to have a regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases passed during its presidency. According to the minister, another serious question will be the consideration of a directive on land use changes for the production of biofuels. The revision of the carbon swap directive will be politically sensitive and complicated. During Lithuania's EU Council presidency, much attention will be focused on preparations for the United Nations climate change conference, which will take place in November in Warsaw. Important questions regarding international climate change control measures and their improvement will be discussed. Other topics will include the promotion of measures for adjusting to climate change, the use of flexible market mechanisms, the development of environmentally-friendly technologies, and others.
The Minister indicated that the international climate agenda will be discussed next week at the informal environmental minister meeting taking place in Vilnius, which will also be attended by Xie Zhenhua, China's senior negotiator on climate issues. “In Vilnius, we will also discuss important national resource and biodiversity financing issues,” - said Valentinas Mazuronis. According to the Minister, topics discussed in Brussels during the second half of this year will include a comprehensive agreement on the regulation of the use of genetic resources and the fair and correct distribution of their benefits, regulations on the use of biocidal products, and the review of regulations for the protection of wild flora and fauna species. A proposal regarding invasive species will also be considered. Other questions up for discussion include rational measures for the improvement of the measurement of environmental impact and the approval of the European Council's conclusions regarding the EU's new forest strategy.
Legally binding international agreements regarding forestry and mercury will be completed during Lithuania's EU Council presidency. Important environmental protection questions will be discussed during the Desertification conference, the Montreal protocol meeting, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services' session, and the Bern convention's permanent committee meetings. Lithuania will coordinate the EU's implementation of the “Rio+20” decisions and strengthen the UNEP's actions. “We hope that, through our combined efforts, we will manage to actively solve important tasks during various international meetings and strengthen the EU's leadership in these areas,” - said the Minister of Environment.
During the Minister's presentation of Lithuania's priorities during its EU Council presidency, the members of the EP's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee showed active interest in the agenda.
The entirety of the Minister's speech can be found at the website for Lithuania's EU Council presidency: www.eu2013.lt.
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