Batteries to top the agenda at green ministerial

EU environment ministers to debate battery waste, access to justice, Reach, Lisbon strategy

Political agreements on battery waste and the Ã…rhus convention top the agenda for next Monday's environment council in Brussels. Ministers will also debate the Reach substance policy reform.

* Battery waste:

Three key issues are outstanding on a proposal to revise the EU batteries directive. Most controversial is the extent of a likely ban on cadmium-containing NiCad rechargeable batteries.

The presidency has proposed exempting power tools, thought to account for 70% of cadmium use in batteries (EED 09/12/04). A small group of member states including Denmark, Sweden and Austria want power tools covered within nine years. A larger group, including Germany, opposes this. Italy and the UK also want to exclude hand-held vacuum cleaners.

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