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Minister of Environment meets with European Commissioner


Gediminas Kazlauskas, the Minister of Environment, has met with Connie Hedegaard, the European Commissioner for Climate Action. The Commissioner inquired about the Programme for Renovation (Modernisation) of Blocks of Flats implemented in , emphasising that the renovation of old buildings was an important step towards energy efficiency. The Minister presented the guest with the conditions and benefits of the programme as well as the current situation. The experience of other countries in renovating blocks of flats, financing models applied there, which often are not as favourable to residents as in Lithuania, were discussed at the meeting.


The meeting addressed the new financial perspective of the European Union for 2014-2020 and possible EU priorities. Hedegaard said that climate change was one of the priority areas, and therefore the focus on pollution reduction, enhancement of energy efficiency and use of renewable energy resources when allocating funds from the EU Cohesion and Structural Funds will only increase.


The Minister and the Commissioner exchanged opinions on the planned construction of nuclear power plants both within the EU and other countries. Hedegaard highlighted the importance of so-called stress tests. The Minister mentioned that the reactors of a power plant to be built in were planned to be cooled using the water of Neris River , which could be very dangerous to Vilnius and entire .


It was pointed out that these facilities had to be safe and reliable as well as meet the highest European environmental and safety standards. Hedegaard said that the Commission was aware of the plans to build nuclear power plants in and the Kaliningrad Region. The guest assured that the Commission was closely following and would follow the ongoing processes, giving them more attention.


The possible negotiating position of the EU at the Climate Change Conference to be held in Durban () this autumn was discussed during the conversation. A new international climate change agreement that would enter into force after 2012 upon the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol commitment period will be negotiated at the conference. The Minister and the Commissioner agreed that the EU’s negotiating position had to be united and encourage the great and emerging economies to make appropriate greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments.


Kazlauskas presented the Green Investment Scheme operating in , based on which funds received from the sale of surplus emission allowances – assigned amount units (AAUs) – are invested in environmental technologies, renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Ministry of Environment has already signed four agreements on the sale of AAUs. The total value of the transactions is LTL 476 million. The head of the Ministry emphasised that this programme was very important to in mitigating the effects of climate change.


The Commissioner pointed out that it was necessary to ensure that the funds received from the sale of emission allowances be invested exclusively in projects reducing energy costs, promoting the use of alternative energy sources, etc. The Minister assured that this was done in and that said money would not on any account be used for purposes other than the intended one.


Tomas Beržinskas, Spokesman for the Minister of Environment, tel. 219 1868


01 September 2011

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