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Environment Council

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, will represent the UK at the Environment Council in Brussels on 2 March.

At Environment Council Ministers will discuss the development of the EU position on a comprehensive post-2012 climate agreement in Copenhagen and subsequently adopt Council conclusions. Climate change discussions will continue over the ministerial lunch.

The Czech presidency will also hold a discussion on the proposal for a directive on industrial emissions, integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC Directive). The debate will focus on the scope of the proposal; the status of the European reference documents on best available techniques, “the BREFs”; the need for further “minimum requirements” and the large combustion plant provisions.

Furthermore, there will be a policy debate and adoption of Council conclusions on contributions to the Spring European Council, 19 and 20 March.

The Council will also be asked to adopt three council decisions regarding the provisional prohibition on the use and sale of two GM maize lines in Austria and one GM maize line in Hungary.

Finally, the Council will aim to adopt a Council decision on the proposal establishing the position to be adopted on behalf of the European community with regard to proposals for amendments to the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling and its Schedule.

Under ‘any other business’, the Czech presidency will provide information on the fall in demand for recycled materials and the 25th Session of the UNEP Governing Council (Nairobi, 16-20 February 2009). Furthermore the European Commission will present proposals for a directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment and for a directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The Commission will also present a communication on a mid-term assessment of implementing the EC Biodiversity Action Plan.