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Addressing the emission rate risk of increased Biofuel demand part of a packed Environment Council agenda

20.03.2013, 13:55 GMT

Discussion will also focus on strengthening provisions of the Environmental Impact Directive and ensuring reward for a country’s biological material exports.

President of the Environment Council and Ireland’s Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan T.D., will chair a one day meeting of the EU Council (Environment) in Brussels tomorrow, during which EU Ministers for the Environment will discuss a range of important issues.
Speaking today about the importance of the meeting, Minister Hogan said: “Smart and sustainable growth is a key feature of the Irish Presidency programme. The areas which the Environment Council will be discussing tomorrow are aimed at improving environmental protection which will greatly contribute to this agenda”.

Minister Phil Hogan: “Smart and sustainable growth is a key feature of the Irish Presidency programme.  The areas which the Environment Council will be discussing tomorrow are aimed at improving environmental protection”

Minister Hogan will chair two orientation debates, the first of which is about the ‘ILUC’ (Indirect Land Use Change) legislative proposal, which is a complex dossier aimed at addressing the risk that part of the additional demand for biofuels will be met through an increase in the amount of land devoted to agriculture worldwide, leading to an indirect increase in emissions due to land conversion for biofuel production.  A similar orientation debate took place at the Energy Council on 22 February 2013.

The second debate will focus on the Commission's proposals for a recast of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive.  The new draft EIA Directive is aimed at strengthening existing provisions concerning the quality of the EIA process, with the aim of achieving an enhanced level of environmental protection.

Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, will also chair an orientation debate on the Commission proposal on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization in the Union (ABS). This is aimed at ensuring that there is a reward to countries that are the source of biological materials which may be collected for use in other countries in new and profitable products, such as foods, medicines, or biotech agents. The debate will focus on the draft Regulation tabled by the Commission to implement the requirements of the Nagoya Protocol, the international protocol under the Convention on Biological Diversity relating to these issues.

The orientation debates will present an opportunity to elicit the views of all Member States on the respective proposals with a view to considering how they can be best progressed over the course of the remainder of the Irish Presidency and beyond.

The meeting will also feature a presentation by the Commission and an exchange of views on the Review of the REACH Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical Substances and on related issues including the Second Regulatory Review of Nanomaterials.  At their lunchtime session, Ministers will take the opportunity to have their first discussion on the Commission’s recently published Communication on the follow up to last June’s Rio +20 Conference – “A Decent Life for All: Ending Poverty and giving the world a sustainable future”.

Finally, the meeting will also include updates on International meetings and events.  There will also be an update from the Commission on the latest developments in relation to issues concerning the inclusion of Aviation within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, and related developments at the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

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picture of Marcella Smyth, Spokesperson (Coreper I)
Permanent Representation Brussels

Marcella Smyth, Spokesperson (Coreper I) Permanent Representation Brussels




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