First political debate on the proposed reduction of “greenhouse” gas emissions in 2021-20302016-10-17
Today, 17 October, the ministers of environment of the EU member states, gathered at a meeting of the Environment Council in Luxembourg, discussed proposals from the European Commission for the regulations on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission in the EU member states for the sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (including agriculture, transport, buildings, waste management, etc.) for the period 2021-2030 and the inclusion of the land use and forestry sector. This was the first political debate on these proposals.
The ministers discussed whether the measures provided for in the Effort Sharing Regulation were adequately effective and flexible for achieving the EU target – a 30% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030. Under the proposal for this regulation, Lithuania will have to reduce GHG emissions in the sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System by 9%, compared to the 2005 level. Later on the implementing legislation of the European Commission will lay down annual GHG quotas based on the data for 2016-2018.
According to Vice-Minister of Environment Algirdas Genevičius who attended the meeting, Lithuania had some doubts about the methodology for the calculation of the commitments of each member state. The data used by the European Commission, for example, the macroeconomic indicators were different from our national information. In addition, the efforts of Lithuania shown to date in reducing GHG emissions were underestimated as annual greenhouse gas emissions allowed would be calculated on the basis of the average emissions for 2016-2018. Lithuania suggested elaborating the proposed flexibility measures that would facilitate the achievement of the GHG emission reduction targets.
Lithuania agreed with the conclusions of the Environment Council approving the common position of the EU member states in their preparation for the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the 8th meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the 2nd meeting of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources to take place in December of this year in Mexico. This position is based on the aim of protecting and sustainably using biological diversity, restoring damaged ecosystems, enlarging protected areas and solving the issues of prevention and management of the spread of invasive species and other problems.
Lithuania largely agreed also with the conclusions of the Environment Council on the sustainable management of water resources. According to Algirdas Genevičius, it is very important that in implementing the Water Framework Directive Lithuania could have a flexible choice of measures that meet its social, economic and geographical situation and specific conditions.