EU environment council round-up

Governments tackle sulphur in fuels, public participation, climate trading, pesticides, GMOs

Environment ministers from around the EU yesterday held their last regular meeting of the year. Key developments included agreement to phase out sulphur in road fuels in 2009 and a debate on the future of climate emissions trading (see separate articles, this issue). Other points are summarised below, while full texts can be found in the minutes of the council meeting (see below):

Climate change:

Ministers welcomed the European Commission's plans for a first batch of "policies and measures" under the European climate change programme (ECCP). They also suggested other measures not yet proposed by the Commission, such as stronger incentives for public procurement of energy-efficient equipment, fiscal incentives for fuel efficient vehicles and possible lower sales taxes for low-consumption products.

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