The next EU Environment Council will take place on 5 March, in Brussels. I will be attending to represent the UK, and the Scottish Minister for Rural Affairs and Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon MSP, will also attend.
On environment items, the main legislative focus will be a general approach on the drinking water directive. In addition, there will also be an exchange of views on greening the European semester, and a policy debate on the European Union framework on endocrine disruptors.
The primary focus for climate items will be a policy debate entitled a “Clean planet for all: Strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy”.
Any other business (AOB) will include information from the Commission on three items:
Better enforcement of the EU phasedown for hydroflurocarbons;
Proposal for a regulation in order to take appropriate account of the global data collection system for ship fuel oil consumption data;
Intersessional Espoo meeting of the parties, Geneva, 5 to 7 February 2019.
There are currently three member state led AOBs:
Environmental protection policies to combat depopulation in rural areas and to improve quality of life (tabled by Spain);
Tackling greenhouse gas emissions by aviation pricing (tabled by Belgium);
Preparation of the XXI conference of the parties to the Barcelona convention, for the protection of the marine environment and the coastal area of the Mediterranean, hosted by Italy in Naples from 2 to 5 December 2019 (tabled by Italy).