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Relevant environmental policy issues to be discussed in Brussels

2017-02-28

Today, Minister of Environment Kęstutis Navickas has met with the Ministers of Environment of other EU Member States at the meeting of the EU Environment Council held in Brussels to discuss relevant EU environmental policy issues.

One of them is the confirmation of the common approach of the Council to the requirements set out in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) Directive for the period 2021–2030. Based on the new requirements, the fuel–fired equipment and chemical industry participating in this system should reduce their GHG emissions by 43 per cent by 2030, compared to the 2005 level. This system is the cornerstone of the European Union’s drive to reduce its GHG emissions at least by 40% by 2030, compared to the 1990 levels, under the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

According to Minister Kęstutis Navickas, Lithuania agrees with the compromise text version of the Directive in principle but it disagrees with the proposal of some EU Member States to reduce the share of tradable emission permits (TEP) sold in auctions by 5 per cent, i.e. from 57 % down to 52 %. According to the Minister, this is not compatible with the objectives of environmental integrity and the ‘polluter pays’ principle. The sale of TEP in auctions should remain the main rule. Our country also agrees with the strengthening of this system by deferring a higher amount of surplus TEP into the market stability reserve. This would promote rapid installation of least-polluting technologies and transition from fossil fuel to the use of renewable energy resources.

Today, the Environment Council will discuss further actions to implement the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development. The goals and objectives outlined in this Agenda are aimed at eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development worldwide by 2030. In addition, the meeting participants will also discuss the review of the implementation of EU environmental policy.

The most important issue for Lithuania, which will be discussed in Brussels today, is the environmental problems related to the Astraviec Nuclear Power Plant being constructed close to the Belorussian–Lithuanian border. Minister Kęstutis Navickas will present Lithuania’s arguments why Belarus should stop the construction of this Nuclear Power Plant.

Communication Division
28 February 2017

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