EU environment ministers will meet in Brussels on 16 March. The purpose of the meeting is to agree on a general approach on a proposal to revise the Industrial Emissions Directive, which contains pollution prevention and control measures. Sweden, as holder of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, has prioritised this issue.
“I look forward to the Environment Council discussing the important proposal on a revised Industrial Emissions Directive. The Directive is important for the environment and for EU industries,” says Minister for Climate and the Environment Romina Pourmokhtari.
Important items on the agenda
Revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED)
Ministers are expected to agree on a common position on the European Commission’s proposed revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), which was adopted in 2010. The proposal contains a series of new provisions designed to reduce emissions and contribute to the implementation of the European Green Deal. It is proposed that the scope of the IED be expanded to include industries such as mines and battery factories.
Proposal for a Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR)
The Commission’s proposed PPWR is part of the implementation of the European Green Deal and is designed to reduce waste packaging in the EU. At the Environment Council meeting, ministers will discuss the proposal’s ambitions and how to prevent packaging waste.
Proposed carbon removal certification framework
On 30 November 2022, the European Commission presented a proposal for a carbon removal certification framework that aims to ensure high-quality carbon removal and combat fraud and greenwashing. This will create the conditions to introduce measures and policy instruments that will annually achieve negative emissions of hundreds of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide so as to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and achieve negative emissions thereafter. At the Environment Council meeting, ministers will discuss the opportunities and challenges that the Commission’s proposal presents.
Proposal for revised Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive
Ministers will discuss the proposal for a revised Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive, which the Commission presented in October 2022. The discussion will focus on matters concerning the increased level of ambition to tackle the remaining emissions, the introduction of extended producer responsibility to finance measures to remove certain micropollutants, such as pharmaceutical residues, from wastewater, and the proposed targets for achieving energy neutrality.
Greening the European Semester
The Environment Council will discuss greening the European Semester. This is a mechanism to monitor Member States’ economic and social development based on EU economic and employment policy guidelines, the Stability and Growth Pact and the EU’s new social targets. The outcome of the Environment Council’s discussion will feed into the Council meeting at the end of March, at which heads of state and government will discuss the European Semester.
Source – EU Council (Swedish Presidency)