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European Environment Council

Volume 572: debated on Tuesday 10 December 2013

I will represent the UK at the European Environment Council meeting in Brussels on 13 December. Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Climate Change in the Scottish Government, and Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food in the Welsh Government, will also attend.

Following the adoption of the agenda and approval of the list of “A” items, the Council will hold an exchange of views on a proposal for a regulation on monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from ships. Presented by the Commission in July, the proposed regulation would apply to all ships above 5,000 gross tonnage calling at EU member states’ ports. It would require CO2 emissions of these ships to be monitored on a “per voyage” and an annual basis, and to be reported and verified on an annual basis. The presidency has suggested two questions to be discussed relating to the scope and balance of the proposal.

After a series of AOB points relating to climate, the Council will then hold an orientation debate on a proposal for a regulation on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species. Published in September, the Commission’s proposal is intended to require member states to prevent, manage or eradicate such species. The debate is designed to assist and focus negotiations. It will seek views on whether the list of species to be subject to the regulation should be limited in number, whether they should only comprise species that are not native to the EU, how they should be selected and prioritised, and whether and how action at the biogeographic regional level should be provided for.

After further AOB points relating to the environment, Ministers will break for a working lunch. This will provide Ministers with the opportunity for a discussion on the post-2015 development framework.

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

Information from the presidency on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and the quality of petrol and diesel fuels.

Information from the C0P 19 presidency, the presidency of the Council of the EU and the Commission on the 19th session of the conference of the parties to the UN framework convention on climate change.

Information from the presidency and the Commission on EU ETS/aviation.

Information from the Commission on a proposal to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags.

Information from the Greek delegation on the work programme for the incoming presidency.