Karolina Skog and Isabella Lövin take part in Environment Council meeting in Luxembourg
20 June 2016: EU climate and environment ministers are meeting today in Luxembourg. The agenda includes negotiations on the EU’s emissions trading system, the National Emission Ceilings Directive and ratification of the Paris climate agreement. Minister for the Environment Karolina Skog and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate Isabella Lövin are taking part in their first Environment Council meeting.
The ministers will discuss the ongoing negotiations on new targets for the National Emission Ceilings Directive (NEC Directive). The NEC Directive regulates emissions of various air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide in the Member States. The Council and the Parliament have for some time been engaged in difficult negotiations. At the Environment Council meeting, the ministers are expected to receive information on the Presidency's plan regarding continued negotiations.
"Sweden wants to see an ambitious agreement on how air pollution in the EU is to be reduced. We hope for a speedy resolution to this drawn-out process," says Ms Skog.
The negotiations on how to reform the EU's emissions trading system have been ongoing for nearly a year. The ministers will receive a status report at the Environment Council meeting and provide input for the continued negotiations. The European Commission will also present two additional legislative proposals this summer: one on a division of responsibilities for emission reductions in the non-ETS sectors, and one on emissions and removals of emissions from land use and forestry. Together, the three negotiations will show how the EU intends to achieve its climate objectives by 2030.
"Sweden takes a positive view of the fact that the EU is now seriously considering how to achieve the objectives, and is pushing for a higher level of ambition in all matters," says Ms Lövin.
The issue of how the EU should regulate endocrine disruptors remains relevant. Last week, the European Commission presented a proposal on how to develop criteria for identifying these substances. The Government considers that the European Commission's proposal is insufficient and will not provide the strong effect necessary to eliminate endocrine disruptors from products. Sweden wants to see a more incisive proposal that applies the precautionary principle, i.e. that a substance suspected of having an endocrine-disrupting effect is to be completely prohibited even if research has not completely proven these suspicions.
The ministers are also expected to adopt a statement on the EU's ratification of the Paris climate agreement. They will also agree on Council conclusions on two different action plans presented by the European Commission – one on a circular economy and one on trade in endangered species of animals and plants.
The meeting is the last Environment Council meeting during the Netherlands Presidency. On 1 July, Slovakia will take over the Presidency of the EU.
Press Secretary to Minister for Environment Karolina Skog
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