Ministers’ discussion: how much air pollution must reduce each EU member state2015-06-15
Today the Minister of Environment Kęstutis Trečiokas together with ministers of environment of other EU member states convened in Luxembourg for the EU Environment Council meeting discussed proposed national commitments to reduce air pollution and talked over preparation for the Paris Climate Change Conference.
While discussing a proposal to establish by a directive on reducing atmospheric emissions the emission reduction commitments agreed on in the Gothenburg Protocol of the 2012 UN Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution, the majority of the ministers emphasized that it was necessary to validate the objectives planned for 2020, whereas the objectives for 2030 still needed to be discussed additionally. The majority of the meeting participants were of the opinion that the latter objectives had to be ambitious, realistic, yet based on correct input data.
Minister Kęstutis Trečiokas supported the view that it was important that the directive provided for a flexible mechanism enabling to adjust the emission reduction objectives according to the energy mix selected in a country or by taking into consideration other key changes having direct impact on implementation of the objectives.
Another issue on the agenda of the Environment Council meeting was about the Climate Change Conference to take place in Paris on November 30 through December 11 that should affirm the new legally binding international agreement on climate change to be effective from 2020. The ministers reviewed progress of negotiations on the agreement and exchanged opinions on their further stages and key moments of the EU negotiation position. Kęstutis Trečiokas supported the goal to have the new agreement approved by the end of 2015 and noted that it should not negatively affect competitiveness of the EU. “This is why all the world’s heaviest polluters must become part of the agreement and take commitments that would be equal to the commitments by the EU,” said Kęstutis Trečiokas. According to him, it is very important that the EU cooperate tightly and exchange proposals with other countries or groups of countries, look for common solutions to boost the negotiations before the Paris Climate Change Conference.
Luxemburg to take over presidency of the EU Council from July 1 presented their presidency programme to the ministers.
Public Information Department