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Last updateΠαρ, 19 Ιουλ 2024 6pm

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EU: Environment Council meeting

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The European Union has issued a press release stating that ministers attending the Environment Council meeting in Brussels extensively discussed the issue of monitoring, reporting, and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from marine transport, as well as challenges presented by invasive alien species.

Specifically, presenting the Commission's proposal, Connie Hedegaard, Commissioner for Climate Action, recognized the specificities of the shipping industry and stated that a global action will cater more efficiently to the shipping sector's needs than a purely regional approach. Consequently, she claimed that the Commission's proposed Regulation on MRV would achieve this objective by contributing to the work undertaken at IMO level.

As regards the scope of the proposal, Ministers were quite critical of Mr Skylakakis' (EPP Rapporteur on the MRV file) decision to include all shipping emissions in the proposed Regulation and considered whether the harmonised system for monitoring and reporting of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport strikes the right balance between ensuring a minimum level playing-field and allowing the necessary flexibility while minimising administrative burden.

Ministers were also not in favour of enlarging the scope of the proposal so as to include ships of 400 GT or more (another feature of Mr. Skylakakis' report) and supported the original threshold of 5000 GT, as proposed by the Commission.

Concerns were also expressed with regard to the confidentiality of the reported data, which prompted Members States to advocate the reporting of emissions on an aggregate basis rather than a ship-by-ship basis.

Among other subjects, environment ministers also discussed a draft regulation adopted by the Commission on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species, which aims at establishing a framework for action to prevent, minimise and mitigate the adverse impact of invasive alien species on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The EU 28 agreed on the need for an efficient system at EU level to combat invasive alien species, the need to review some of the features of the list of such species (their number and origin) and the importance of regional cooperation as an important element to ensure an efficient fight against invasive alien species. This exchange of views will be used by the incoming Greek Presidency of the Council to make headway on this particular file.

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