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EU Environment Council will focus on maritime emissions and invasive species


The second and last Environment Council meeting under the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU will take place in Brussels on Friday, December 13. The meeting will be chaired by Mr Valentinas Mazuronis, Minister of Environment of Lithuania. The Commission will be represented by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik and Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard.

The main items on the agenda for Friday’s Environment Council are the debates on two legislative documents while the Any Other Business points will inform ministers about the state of play in a number of files. At the morning session ministers will exchange their views on the Regulation on the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Maritime Transport.

“Since July, we have worked within the Working Party aiming to prepare the grounds for the negotiation with the European Parliament. At the Environment Council we will consider the scope of the proposal and the balance between ensuring a minimum level-playing field and allowing the necessary flexibility while minimising administrative burden” says Lithuanian Minister for Environment Mr Valentinas Mazuronis.

Afterwards, the Council will have an orientation debate on a draft regulation on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species. The Commission proposal, presented in September 2013, aims to establish a framework for action to prevent, minimise and mitigate the adverse impact of invasive alien species on biodiversity and ecosystem services. In addition, it will limit social and economic damage.

“The Lithuanian Presidency in quite short time made as much progress as possible with this important file at working party level”, - says minister Valentinas Mazuronis. “The Presidency believes that scope of the regulation, particularly on the establishment of the list of invasive alien species, as well as actions at the level of EU bio-geographic regions are the most important issues at this stage”, stresses Mr Mazuronis. According to him, this proposal reflects a problem which has a huge impact on biodiversity, ecosystem services, as well on human health and economy, and it is proper time to explore possible measures to adequately treat the invasive alien species today.

During the meeting the Council will also be informed on the current state of play on a number of dossiers advanced by the Presidency, such as on the directives relating to the Quality of Petrol and Diesel Fuels and on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Resources (ILUC). The Lithuanian Presidency, the COP Presidency and the Commission will inform the Council on the outcomes of the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Presidency and the Commission will also inform delegations on the state of play and the way forward on the EU ETS/Aviation. The Commission will then introduce its recently submitted Proposal on reduction of the consumption of plastic bags. Finally, the Greek delegation will present the environment work programme of the Greek Presidency.

Over the lunch ministers will express their positions focussing on the environmental perspective of future actions “Towards a post-2015 overarching framework”.
On Thursday night prior to the ministerial meeting Mr. Mazuronis will chair the traditional meeting with the Green-10 non-governmental organizations, which will provide an opportunity for ministers as well as Commissioners to engage in dialogue with the environmental community on issues to be discussed at the Council.

Public Information Division

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