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EU Environment Council to discuss relevant climate change policy issues

2016-12-19

At a meeting of the EU Environment Council in Brussels today, Minister of Environment Kęstutis Navickas and his colleagues from other EU member states first of all will discuss relevant climate change policy issues.

After hearing the information of Slovakia that holds the presidency of the European Council concerning the progress achieved by the EU states in discussing the proposal for a revision of the current EU emission trading system (ETS), the ministers of environment will present the opinions of their states. The discussion on this proposal made by the European Commission in June 2015 has yet failed to harmonise the opinions of the EU member states. Thus negotiations on this issue will be continued by Malta that is taking over the presidency of the EU Council.

‘Lithuania welcomes the key proposed changes that would help to achieve the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 pct. by the year 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change’, says Minister Kęstutis Navickas. ‘However, there are some proposals that need to be negotiated’.

For example, in the opinion of our country, it is not necessary to change the conditions for the operation of the market stability reserve to start in 2019 as frequent changes only undermine stability before the requirements have even taken effect.

Nor does Lithuania support some proposals of other states to reduce the share of ETS allowances sold at auctions or establish a centralised EU fund for compensating the costs sustained by the industry as a large energy consumer. Our country agrees that the relative pollution indicators used for calculating the ETS allowances allocated free of charge, taking the real technological capacity of separate sectors into consideration, must be subject to revision, but it has doubts about the proposal to reduce these indicators every year. Support should also be given to the proposals for simplifying the management of the Modernisation Fund and project administration even more and granting more powers to the states in their decision making on project financing.

During the meeting the EU ministers of environment will also discuss the conclusions of the European Council on the protection of human health and the environment through the sound management of chemicals. These conclusions define the key problems of today relating to the legal framework and implementation of the management of these chemicals. They also stress the importance of the EU leadership in order to approve an ambitious strategy for the management of chemicals and waste after 2020, and approve of a revision of the whole body of legislation on chemicals. The European Commission is urged by 2018 to prepare an EU strategy for a non-toxic environment which would lay down the EU policy on chemicals after 2020.

Communication Division
19/12/2016

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