Agriculture Minister participated in EU Environment Council

The Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Mr Nicos Kouyialis, participated yesterday, in Brussels, in a meeting of the EU Environment Council.

The Council mainly focused on the proposal to review the Emissions Trading System (ETS) Directive, which aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Its review is part of the EU’s climate action to fulfil its commitment under the Paris Agreement.

In his intervention during discussions regarding the aforementioned topic, Mr Kouyialis noted the significance of the ETS review, taking into consideration the EU’s commitments on the basis of the Paris Agreement. He further underlined that any amendment to the System would have to be made in the most effective and fair manner.

After deliberations and in spite of the objections posed by nine member states, including Cyprus, the Council adopted a negotiating position with qualified majority.

Mr Kouyialis said he strongly opposed the proposal due to the reduction of a high percentage of allowances to be auctioned and the doubling of removal emission allowances from the carbon market, as well as their cancellation.

EU Ministers also discussed the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and what it means for the EU’s environmental policy. Mr Kouyialis noted that the integration of the environmental aspect into the economic and developmental policy of the EU constitutes a fundamental factor vis-A�-vis the attainment of the EU’s joint commitments for a sustainable future. He also referred to the significant role that businesses, industry stakeholders and civil society could play in that effort.

Moreover, in the context of the European Semester process, EU Ministers exchanged views on the 2017 annual growth survey. They also discussed the environmental implementation review, a new tool for addressing implementation gaps on environmental legislation and policy that includes 28 country reports.

Source: Press and Information Office