European Environmental Council

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written statement – made on 10th October 2013.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Council meeting will open with an exchange of views on a proposal to amend regulation (EC) No. 1013/2006 on shipments of waste. The Commission is concerned by the uneven standard of enforcement across member states against illegal shipments of waste and would like to strengthen the requirements for enforcement. The Commission has issued a proposal to amend the regulation to require competent authorities to prepare and publish inspection plans. The amendments would introduce provisions for competent authorities to request proof from an exporter where it was suspected that they were exporting waste in the guise of a product in order to evade the controls, and also to request evidence that material exported for recovery had been recovered in an environmentally sound manner in the destination country. The amendments would also allow the Commission to adopt delegated acts on technical and organisational requirements for the practical implementation of electronic data interchange for the submission of documents and information. The UK supports the principle of strengthening the enforcement of the regulations, but has concerns about some of the detail in the proposal.

After a series of AOB points, the Council will then seek to adopt non-legislative Council conclusions on preparations for the 19th Session of the conference of the parties (COP 19) to the United Nations framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC) and the ninth session of the meeting of the parties to the Kyoto protocol (CMP 9). COP 19 will take place in Warsaw, Poland from 11 to 22 November 2013, and these conclusions will form the basic framework of the EU’s negotiating position at COP 19.

Ministers will then break for a working lunch, during which they will discuss green infrastructure. In May 2013, the Commission adopted a communication on an EU-wide strategy on green infrastructure, which foresees a series of actions that provide an enabling framework, combining policy signals, technical or scientific actions, and better access to finance. The strategy will be implemented within the context of existing legislation, policy instruments and funding mechanisms.

In the afternoon the presidency will present a compromise package of amendments, determining how vehicle manufacturers will achieve existing long-term CO2 targets for cars. Some member states have expressed reservations with the deal following concerns raised by industry, and discussion of the package and possible compromise amendments are expected.

Over the course of the day, the following topics will be covered under “any other business”:

Information from the Commission on the EU emissions trading scheme/aviation.

Information from the presidency and the Commission on international meetings and events.

Information from the Commission on a system for monitoring, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international maritime transport.

Information from the Danish delegation on a political declaration concerning the use of industrial gas credits under the effort-sharing decision and from the Commission on facilitating a global HFC phase-down agreement under the Montreal protocol.

Information from the Hungarian delegation on the “Budapest Water Summit” (8-11 October 2013).